ESPN is ending its relationship with Paul Lukas and his blog UniWatch. The column began as part of The Village Voice in 1999. It first debuted at ESPN.com in 2004, and while a full UniWatch blog debuted independent of ESPN in 2006, Lukas continued to contributing to ESPN through last week.
From ESPN’s perspective, the brand has been made less relevant thanks to social media. There are countless Twitter and Instagram accounts, each with thousands of followers, dedicated to sports uniforms.
Lukas isn’t bothered by that. He told The Washington Post that he is proud to take credit for it. “Part of the mainstreaming in the interest in uniforms is because ESPN took a chance on me and legitimized the coverage of this beat.”
On his own blog, Lukas made it clear to his readers that ESPN’s decision doesn’t change his feelings about the company. “I want to make it clear that I have no gripes whatsoever with ESPN. Having my work showcased on the world’s foremost sports media enterprise for more than 14 years has been a privilege and a thrill.”
ESPN does not own the rights to the name UniWatch, so Lukas will continue with business as usual on his blog.