Home » I Am Endlessly Perplexed By The ‘Sports Mind Produced By Sports’ Decals

I Am Endlessly Perplexed By The ‘Sports Mind Produced By Sports’ Decals

Sports Mind Toyota 2
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Here at The Autopian, we pride ourselves on celebrating all types of car enthusiast cultures without judgment or favor. (Well, I never got the love for all the Bailout Cars, but nostalgia’s a hell of a drug, Zoomers.) To me, the best ones are the ones that teach me something new. Yet I can’t figure out what the deal is with these “Sports Mind Produced By Sports” decals I see everywhere in New York City—often multiples on the same car.

I’ve been wanting to write about these for months and with this being my final day at The Autopian, it’s probably my last chance. It’s not the huge investigation full of interviews that I wanted to do, but maybe one of you can explain to me what the hell I’m looking at.

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Photo: Patrick George

I grabbed this photo on a car parked near our place in Brooklyn yesterday (which is what reminded me to do this story.) There it is: “SPORTS MIND,” and below it, “Produced by SPORTS.” What on earth does this mean, and where does it come from?

Some cursory Google searches reveal these are nothing new—car forums and Reddit boards have been asking about them for close to a decade, maybe longer—but I never really noticed them until I moved to New York in 2017. Nobody really seems to know what they are. It feels vaguely JDM-y to me, like the kind of lettering you used to see during the glory days of Japan’s Bubble Era. But I have no clue if that’s the correct provenance or not.

They can be had for any kind of car, usually with some branding attached. You can get them on eBay or Etsy or Amazon. Here’s one example that’s assuredly unofficial:

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Photo: eBay

The quality, and English lettering, is often deeply questionable. Here’s another one from Amazon: “Sports Mind Powered by RACING.”  Racing! You hear that? In all-caps, too. That’s how you know they’re serious.

They can be had, or used on, any brand; I’ve seen them here in New York on BMWs, Ford Tauruses, AMGs, Hondas, Toyotas… just about everything. In fact, on the times I’ve considered picking up a cheap lease on a Tesla Model 3 for the hell of it (then I decide not to when I read stuff like this), I knew I wanted to get a “Sports Mind Powered by TESLA” decal as a goof. Also, it would make mine stand out a bit; the damn things all look the same.

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Photo: Etsy

And yes! It exists on Etsy for under forty bucks! Look at that!

But none of this abates my confusion. What is this? What does it all mean? What is the Sports Mind? Do I have it? Do YOU have it? And what is “Sports?” What the hell is that (who, maybe?) and how is it producing things? Should The Autopian start selling these in their official store? Should the site hawk “Sports Mind Powered By RUST” decals for our growing fleets of dangerous shitboxes?

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I have so many questions and no answers. Perhaps one day, I too will get the Sports Mind. Then I might understand.

[Ed note: I, too, see these everywhere in and around the city. What the hell is up with these? – MH]

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Frederick Tanujaya
Frederick Tanujaya
9 months ago

Here in indonesia i see a SHIIIIIIT Ton of them mostly TRD Sportivo, and Mugen

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
9 months ago

“Yet I can’t figure out what the deal is with these ‘Sports Mind Produced By Sports’ decals I see everywhere in New York City—often multiples on the same car.”

HOW MANY CARS DOES JIM SPANFELLER OWN?!

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago

Looking at the stakebody truck at the shop, I idly wondered if my bosses would notice if I applied one to it:
Sports Mind provided by
Not For Hire

-at least I amuse myself
….still musing: I’m surprised no one puts their motor in there. I mean, Sports Mind provided by 2jz at least makes some kind of sense. Or, on a suitable Radwood era car, Sports Mind provided by Turbo stickers. That would be, uh, rad

70degrees
70degrees
9 months ago

The earliest mentions of this sticker that I can find have the text “Sports Mind produced by Suzuki Sport”. Your JDM guess sounds like it might be correct.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
9 months ago

If youre going, it must not be a bad site. See ya over there and eat shit.

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
9 months ago

Damn! Sorry to hear you’re leaving us. Your writing has been uniformly fantastic and always relevant. If you truly are leaving, I hope you will pop in with some articles on occasion.

Evan M
Evan M
9 months ago

Oh good another sticker to notice and be annoyed at haha! Bad enough I live in a completely landlocked state with “Salt Life” stickers on every other CUV…

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
9 months ago
Reply to  Evan M

When you’re older and too mature for Tapout, you switch to Salt Life.

Gerontius Garland
Gerontius Garland
9 months ago
Reply to  Evan M

The font on those is so wonky that my brain always processes it as “Slut Life.”

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
9 months ago

> this being my final day at The Autopian

What

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
9 months ago

Thought the same

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
9 months ago

InsideEVs sure as hell better have a robust and lively commenting platform where I can stull tell PG he’s wrong and say uncomfortably stanny things about Taycans.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
9 months ago

This fake JDM stuff can’t touch the legitimate Powered by Honda sticker on my pressure washer.

El Chubbacabra
El Chubbacabra
9 months ago

Now it seems the same stylised “Sport” has been used on a Wagon R+ I own.
Which would make sense as Wagon R+ Sport never existed.

Don Mynack
Don Mynack
9 months ago

Can you also find out what “Salt Life” means, too?

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago
Reply to  Don Mynack

I’ve never quite gotten over a comment I once saw in which the commenter said they first read it as ‘slut life’ and have been unable to shake that reading. Ever since, my inner 8yo snickers every time I see one. I’m 5 hours from Myrtle Beach, so a fair percentage of local family’s top-of-the-fleet express-mobiles have them.

I snicker a lot

Gerontius Garland
Gerontius Garland
9 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

LOL that was probably me. I’ve been saying that for years. I legit thought it said that for the longest time, and then someone mentioned “Salt Life” stickers, and I was like “Oh, it’s a beach thing. That makes more sense.”

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago

Then I owe you multiple beers & a hearty Thank You!
I especially enjoy them on the back of rigs clearly incapable of the trip to the beach hauling john boats and similar clearly fresh-water craft on the way to our local lake; a smug chortle brightens my day.
-I should be a better person than that, but everyone has to have their indulgences 😉

Last edited 9 months ago by TOSSABL
BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
8 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

That was me.

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
9 months ago
Reply to  Don Mynack

It is a cult where people share their wives with the Salt Bae guy. Or at least I would like to start that rumor.

It’s really funny when I see those stickers around freshwater lakes.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
9 months ago
Reply to  Racer Esq.

Oh, it’s even funnier further inland.

What salt in central Texas? Are you mistaking it for the smell of zebra mussels or what?

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
9 months ago
Reply to  Don Mynack

I think it means their brodozer yearns to get stuck in high tide.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
9 months ago

I can’t say I have ever seen one of these in person but they’re weirdly similar to the knock-off stickers on my generic RC car body..

Hotdoughnutsnow
Hotdoughnutsnow
9 months ago
Reply to  Cool Dave

I think you’re onto something here. I’m betting there was a cheap car bought off of temu or Alibaba with poorly translated stickers on them. Someone on a JDM message board posted photos of it, and they had their inside-joke meme, which eventually leaked into “the IRL”.

Dodsworth
Dodsworth
9 months ago

Style is a harsh mistress. And best of luck to you, where ever you go.

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