SBD/October 9, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nike Unveils New-Look Uniforms For '14 Pro Bowl Game

Nike's Pro Bowl unis bear a similarity to the Univ. of Oregon football unis
Nike took over the NFL's apparel contract last season, but the company's "distinctive sense of style -- which has outfitted the Oregon Ducks for years and gradually made its way across the college football landscape -- hadn't really made a true NFL debut" until now, according to Allan Brettman of the Portland OREGONIAN. The brand yesterday unveiled uniforms for the '14 Pro Bowl, which "bear an unmistakable similarity to the Ducks uniforms." Nike's contributions to the Seahawks, Vikings, Dolphins and Jaguars "have been relatively quiet compared to the loud interpretations that have clothed Nike-sponsored college teams in recent years." Opting for a "marked shift in appearances may have been a way in acknowledging the lightly viewed game itself is undergoing a shift in its upcoming edition" (OREGONLIVE.com, 10/9). In Oklahoma City, Erik Horne wrote along with the "format of the game going from conference vs. conference to a playground pick-em, changing the uniforms couldn’t hurt to ramp up interest." Horne: "Why not liven it up a bit with some fresh ideas and fresh swag?" (NEWSOK.com, 10/8). ESPN.com's Paul Lukas wrote the new uniforms are "rather tame compared to some previous Pro Bowl designs." Lukas: "Remember the bizarre jerseys from 1994? Or the long pants from 2011? No, of course you don't remember those, because nobody ever remembers anything about the Pro Bowl. Nobody will remember these new Nike uniforms, either" (ESPN.com, 10/8).

NOT FANS OF THE DESIGNS: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said the uniforms "look like robot things to me." Kornheiser: "I can't imagine a fat guy wanting to wear this because they're very, very clingy." He added, "Years from now, people are going to look back on these uniforms and on the Pro Bowl itself and they're going to say, 'What were you people thinking?'" ESPN's Michael Wilbon said every time "people create new uniforms, helmets, all these concepts, they are to appeal to 5- to 10 year olds. They don’t even care about 30 year olds" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/8).
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