SBD/Issue 51/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

NFL Official Confirms "Leaked" Uniform Renderings Not From Nike

 Uniforms Leaked Online Were Not From Nike,
Likely Based On Pro Combat Designs

NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy Friday denied that renderings of Nike NFL uniforms making their way around the Internet are a preview of what is to come when the Oregon-based retailer becomes the league’s jersey supplier in '12. McCarthy on his Twitter feed wrote, “Just to clarify, the artist renderings of NFL uniforms floating around ARE NOT from the league or Nike. stand down.” The NFL’s denial comes after mock-ups of several different team jerseys popped up on blogs Friday morning (THE DAILY). YAHOO SPORTS' Doug Farrar cited a Nike source as saying that the "designs are not real, and the graphics have nothing whatsoever to do with whatever changes Nike may be making to the NFL uniforms." They are "well-done but amateur-created art, most likely based on the current Pro Combat college uniform concepts" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/20). In Boston, Matt Pepin noted, "Perhaps fueling the fire were comments made by a Nike official after the league chose Nike." Nike Brand President Charlie Denson last month said, "We plan on changing the NFL jersey dramatically just like we've done with the college programs, using new thinking and the greatest technology available. The NFL program hasn't had the same type of advancement in recent years" (BOSTON.com, 11/19).

PLANNED MOVE? ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, “I don’t believe for a second that Nike’s hand isn’t all over this. They want some deniability in case the public didn’t like them, but I think they are ready to go with all 32.” ESPN.com's Bill Simmons: “I think they leaked this to gauge the public reaction, which in my opinion is a shrewd move." He added, "We have ‘Throw Back Day’ go back to when the Pats used to wear their 1960’s uniforms. Let’s have ‘Throw Forward Day' because these uniforms feel like they’re out of 2080” ("PTI," ESPN, 11/19).

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