SBD/October 1, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Alternate Uniforms Proving Profitable For Nebraska, Adidas

Nebraska wore the alternate uniforms in the team's 30-27 victory over Wisconsin
The Univ. of Nebraska football team played Saturday's game against Wisconsin wearing a one-time alternate uniform by adidas, and the financial benefit "is significant" to the school, according to Jordan Pascale of the Lincoln JOURNAL STAR. Lincoln-based retail store Husker Headquarters Marketing Dir Blaine Braziel said that replica jerseys "run about $65 and have been selling briskly." Braziel said that retailers were shipped the replicas earlier this month and they "sold out of their first allotment last weekend." Huskers Headquarters sold 10 jerseys "in the first 30 minutes after it opened Friday." Braziel said, "It creates a fervor. They are great short-term sellers because they are new and different." Pascale noted miniature replicas of the black helmets Nebraska wore Saturday "go for about $30," while T-shirts with the alternate jersey theme "run about $18." NU's official online retail store "offers 13 items with the new 'N' logo." NU Assistant AD/Marketing, Licensing & Concessions Michael Stephens said that the reaction "has been different compared to the nostalgic 1962 replica jerseys the team wore in 2009 to mark the 300th consecutive sellout of Memorial Stadium." He added that there "are possibilities in the future" for other alternate uniforms. Stephens: "We're interested in doing it from a marketing standpoint, but we want to keep with tradition and don't take that lightly" (Lincoln JOURNAL STAR, 9/29). In Madison, Tom Oates wrote the Big Ten "should have called Saturday night’s game ... the adidas Bowl." adidas was "attempting to showcase two of its signature college football programs ... in old-school fashion." The uniforms were "an odd mix of 50-year-old lettering with ultramodern fabric and design." Oates: "Some thought they were cool, some thought they were hideous, most didn’t give it a thought after the opening kickoff" (Wisconsin STATE JOURNAL, 9/30). ESPN’s Desmond Howard said of the uniforms, “Not a big fan.” He noted it was adidas' attempt "to hang with Nike." ESPN’s Lee Corso said, “They look like soccer uniforms” (“College GameDay,” ESPN, 9/29).

IRISH EYES ARE CRYING: ESPN’s Chris Fowler noted Notre Dame will "make a fashion statement” against the Univ. of Miami this Saturday, as the team will wear helmets with the “nice shiny gold on one side and then a special surprise on the other side. ... You got the brand-new updated leprechaun logo." Players are excited about the new helmets, but a "lot of the traditional Notre Dame fans are very stirred up that you’ve messed with the Golden Dome.” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said, “Our players, our recruits, they all love the look and we do it one time a year. It’s not something that we do every week. We do it in this Shamrock Series so we make sure that everybody identifies this one game with our opportunity to appeal to the young kids that we’re recruiting. If you didn’t like what we had last year, you’re definitely not going to like it this year. We’ve just resigned to the fact that we’ll have one game a year where we try to appeal to the younger audience” (“College GameDay,” ESPN, 9/29).

BUCKING UP: In Columbus, Jacob Kanclerz reported Ohio State Univ. football jersey sales are "starting to recover," and coach Urban Meyer is "a big draw, too." Columbus-based retail store College Traditions Owner Kelly Dawes said, "The Urban shirts are flying. We're selling a ton of Urban shirts -- more than jerseys." She added that jersey sales are "twice as good as they were last year at this time" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 9/30).
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