SBD/January 26, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike Unveils New "Platinum" Jersey Line To Be Worn By Nine College Hoops Teams

Arizona one of nine schools to wear Nike jersey for one game this season
Nike yesterday "unveiled its new 'platinum' line that will be worn by nine powerhouse" men’s and women’s college basketball teams for one game each this season, according to Rachel Cohen of the AP. Like the "gaudy outfits that have become so popular in college football, these take liberties with the programs’ standard color schemes." The jerseys and shorts are "trimmed in some, but not necessarily all, of the school’s official hues." The team names are in a "reflective silver material, while the back of the jersey features a large school logo in contrasting shades of gray." Above the number is a star "for each of the program’s national championships; the player’s name is below." The teams selected to wear the jerseys -- including the men's teams at Arizona, Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse and the women's teams at Baylor and UConn -- have won NCAA titles wearing Nike gear. North Carolina G Kendall Marshall indicated that it is "interesting that all the teams using the Hyper Elite Platinum uniforms will wear them against schools sponsored by Adidas or Under Armour" (AP, 1/25). UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma said, "I haven't seen them in person, although I have seen renderings of them. From what people are telling me, they are unbelievable. I've been getting messages from other coaches and players, anyone who has seen them. They say they have never seen anything like them" (HARTFORD COURANT, 1/26).

WEIGHING IN ON JERSEYS: ESPN.com's Paul Lukas wrote Nike is "calling this the Hyper Elite Platinum series, with 'platinum' supposedly referring to the color of the uniforms." Lukas: "Can't blame 'em for trying to come up with a snazzy-sounding name, but come on -- they're gray" (ESPN.com, 1/25). CBSSPORTS.com's Matt Norlander wrote the uniforms are "not even that ugly," but they are just "boring-looking, nondescript from the past half-decade of altering team jerseys up and down the grayscale" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/25). YAHOO SPORTS' Jeff Eisenberg wrote the "only good thing about Nike unveiling unsightly gray jerseys on Wednesday" is that each team is "only required to wear them once." New jerseys "always inspire their share of grumbling, but the release of these has been especially polarizing" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/25). In Tucson, Patrick Finley writes the unveiling of Arizona's jersey "left me feeling, well, gray." Finley: "There was no hint of navy, anywhere. Yup, Arizona's new uniform featured neither the proper school name nor the school's colors" (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 1/26).
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