Today in New York City, Nike invited media members in for their latest, big reveal: their new NFL uniform and sideline apparel launch for the upcoming season. With the NFL contract for the next five years, Nike’s year-one plan looks promising for both players and fans. Yes, fans are included into the action, according to Commissioner Goodell who called the partnership with Nike a chance to “make it better for players and fans.”
The biggest introduction was that for the Elite 51 uniform (Nike’s co-founder Bill Bowerman wore the number 51). Following the Swoosh’s credo of meshing innovation and function, the uniforms were two years in the making by Nike’s Design Team and are decidedly sleeker, more form-fitting than previous pro football gear worn on the field. Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz harped that the close-fitting jerseys mean he “can’t be held” by defensive backs. For fans, the slimmed, better fitting jerseys should be welcomed after years of suffering through from other manufacturers ill-fitting jerseys long in form.
Quick Tech Specs: Flywire technology will make its debut on uniforms and players next season. The nylon-based, taut material is used in the neckline to reduce weight and provide lockdown fit over pads. Even the pants players will wear are built for performance, fit with Hyperstrong, a material whose baselayer is carbon fiber, thus making it both stronger and more responsive to cuts and turns. Other highlights include stretch twill numbers, deflex padding in the pants and more. Full tech specs can be found here.
Staying Static: Longstanding franchises (and fan-favorites) like the Green Bay, Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears will not be subjected to sweeping changes, as many waited apprehensively to see. Traditional team logos, looks and colors will hold form, at least for year one.
Dynamic Changes: Teams were allowed to decide the degree of change they wanted to undergo. The Seattle Seahawks are one of the few that will be going in a bold direction under Nike’s watch intially. The use of an electric green to trim a rich shade of blue looks dazzling under the lights, as it will on the field as well. Again, fans are included as the jersey includes branding to highlight “the 12th man,” a nod to Seattle’s hardcore fanbase.
The Pros Get Accessorized: Much like the lucky college teams who’ve been decked out in the Swoosh from head-to-toe in recent years, select NFL teams will get the full System of Dress, previously seen on college teams. Nike’s design inspiration began “from the inside out” with the athlete in mind. Stylized gloves, Dri-Fit base layer apparel, footwear, and socks for all 32 NFL squads are on they way, with the goal to keep players cool, protected and performing at peak levels of performance.
With more gear and changes to come, we’ll be back to update more later. All of gear and apparel will soon be available at Nike Store. But for now, click through the slideshow after the video to check out a sneak peak of things to come.
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