Collectors of hockey jerseys are doing a double take when they get a look at the tails of sweaters donned by the Columbus Blue Jackets this year. Alongside the MeiGray authentication label is the set tag that’s commonly applied to professional sports jerseys.
The Blue Jackets are making a little history with theirs.
Assistant Equipment Manager Jamie Healy got the idea from seeing backstage passes from a rock group that were anything but typical and decided to put a little Columbus flair on the typically banal tags.
With approval from Equipment Manager Tim LeRoy, Healy got on his bike and began taking pictures of scenes around the city. Those photos are now serving as the backdrop for the basic information that’s meant to help track the Jackets’ game-worn jerseys. It’s believed to be the first time a team has regularly “dressed up” the set tags with photos and collectors have begun to take notice.
“Typically, tags are all the same,” collector Dave Cottone told The Athletic’s Alison Luken. “It’s definitely fun because it’s different. It shows a little personality, makes the jersey a little more interesting, and helps us authenticate it.”
The set tags identify the jersey as game-worn. In conjunction with the MeiGray security tag that’s also sewn into each jersey, it offers collectors the knowledge that they’re buying the real deal.
Healy says he’s hoping to use 10-12 different jersey tags during the 2018-19 season.