The next chapter of my “Vintage Revisited” series features my designs for the Buffalo Bisons. Long before the minor league baseball team of the same name, the Buffalo Bisons were the city’s AHL hockey team. The team was established in 1940 and existed for 30 years until the Buffalo Sabres were founded, kicked the team out of the Aud, and folded the Bisons.
The team had two major eras of design, the most prominent came after they were bought in 1956 by the owner of the local Pepsi-Cola company. The team’s logo and colors were changed to reflect this. It’s funny how nostalgia can change views. If that had happened today (as it does) I’m sure people would be furious at the changing of a team’s identity to match the owner’s company (see: Buffalo Sabres, 1996 and Vancouver Canucks, 1997). But because of the nostalgia factor, people love this jersey and logo. So much so, the Buffalo Sabres used a modified version of the “Buffalo” wordmark for their 40th Anniversary jerseys, which I used recently.
For my designs, I stuck with the Pepsi cap logo and colors because, to be honest, I really do think it looks sharp.
Like the originals, the home design of these jerseys is very red-heavy. The red dominant scheme with white-blue stripes on the base of the jersey along the waist is echoed on the socks. I placed the isolated “Buffalo” wordmark from the bottlecap logo on the pants, which I think looks sharp and also mirrors the Buffalo Sabres jersey design I recently put together.
The away jersey is essentially the mirror image of the home, with the white and red elements switching places. The peripheral designs (socks, skates, gloves, helmet) were carried over from the home design.
I’m not sure if the team ever wore blue. I’ve seen fan designs but nothing official. In any case. using the third color in the team’s palette was an easy choice for the alternate, and damn does it look sharp. I kept the red pants and the tri-color gloves and skates from the other two designs, but otherwise, I wanted the blue to really stand on its own. The helmet is blue to match the collar and shoulder.
Personally, I would welcome the Sabres wearing something similar to these for a throwback night. They might have to work on getting the rights from Pepsi, however!