SBD/November 4, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Manhattan Style: Kansas State Football Bucking The New Uniform Trend

Kansas State has tried changing its uniforms in past but received negative feedback
Style "has become a priority” among many college football teams' choice of uniforms, but in the 20 years Kansas State Univ. coach Bill Snyder has been at the school, the Wildcats "have made no significant alterations -- silver pants with purple home jerseys or white road jerseys,” according to Kellis Robinett of the K.C. STAR. K-State “has tried new looks in the past … but they were met with negative responses.” The school has a sponsorship agreement with Nike, and it “could decide to work with Nike and incorporate one of its popular ‘Pro Combat’ uniforms into its football rotation the way the men’s basketball team switched uniforms in midseason a year ago.” Some football players “have indicated they would embrace similar changes to their uniforms, but Snyder says he has never discussed uniform changes with Nike.” ESPN.com columnist Paul Lukas said, “Everyone talks about Nike coming up with all these new uniforms. Nike did this. Nike did that. Well, Nike outfits Penn State, and they haven’t changed their look in a century. Nike would like nothing better than to jazz up Penn State’s uniforms, but Penn State has said, ‘No, we don’t want to do that.’” Robinett noted Oklahoma State, which is playing K-State Saturday night, “was all-in when approached by Nike.” OSU coach Mike Gundy: “The players were excited about it. We feel like it can help us in recruiting. Young people like change, they like new things and they like the colors we were able to offer” (K.C. STAR, 11/2).

RECRUITING TOOL: Former NFLer Brian Westbrook said he believes high school recruits are "swayed by the uniforms these days." He said uniforms are an effective recruiting tool because “everybody wants to go to the Oregons and the Boise States." Westbrook: "I think Virginia is very old-school, classic uniforms, Terps have the new helmets with the shells” ("Washington Post Live,” Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, 11/2).
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