I think cool uniforms are important for marketing a sports team but in the NFL they spend too much on new uniforms that may only get used for one game. For example, this week for Veterans Day all the teams had camo gear, hats, Bose headphones. This week on Thursday night football, the Jets and the Bills have all new bright red and green uniforms. This is one reason I can't afford a ticket to a football game.
College sports teams have almost become a kind of branding in my opinion. The uniform is a large part of this because it is what everyone sees when the games are played. More expensive uniform, more funding. It's almost like a showing off of how much funding is given to the school. Colleges shouldn't be known for sports; they should be known for education.
Without a doubt, NFL teams (and college teams and high teams and little league teams) spend too much on uniforms. It is hard to hear how much money is poured into gaming clothing when people are starving all over the world. Add to that, what a team is wearing has very little bearing on how they play the game and whether they win the game or not.
By creating new uniforms you catch the attention of the media which helps to get your team recognized. A perfect example of this is when the Seatle Seahawks changed their uniforms. Sports enthusiasts heard about it all over ESPN, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Also, by creating new uniforms you create new merchandise that fans will want to purchase. Everyone will want to be sporting the new logo or color scheme.
Forbes ranked NFL teams for their money worth in 2010 and the range was 725 million on the low end up to 1.8 billion at the top. Fans spend hundreds of dollars on team paraphernalia, tickets to see the games, and for premium cable channels to see the games televised. The NFL is loaded because people regularly hand them tons of cash.
Fans pay to see a show. Many fans pay for team gear. Each athlete makes at least $400,000 a year. This is all paid for by the fans who watch the sport. So, when I am asked "Do NFL teams spend too much money on uniforms?" I say no. Uniforms make the show better to watch. They pay for themselves.