SBJ/Aug. 19-25, 2013/In Depth

New season, new looks for uniforms

Yes, the Oregon Ducks will again push the edge on uniform design, with one combination that glows like yellow neon. But many college football programs, large and small, will debut new looks this season. Here are some that may catch your eye.

Photo by: Nike

Oregon State answers the Ducks

While the Oregon Ducks serve as the petri dish for uniform design, rival Oregon State has changes of its own to show off this season. The school’s Nike uniforms include a more sleek and fierce beaver logo. There are three different uniforms: all black, all white and all orange. A white helmet features the beaver logo, the black helmet is plain except for the center stripes, and the orange helmet has the jersey number on the side.

Photo by: University of Nebraska / Adidas

Huskers show off dark side

The University of Nebraska and Adidas unveiled an alternative uniform that the Cornhuskers will wear Sept. 14 when they play UCLA at Memorial Stadium. The uniform includes black jerseys with white stencil-font numbers. The helmet is matte white with a wide black stripe, stencil numbers and a face mask that fades from red to matte black. Still, the team’s famed, straight red “N” logo remains unchanged. Tradition trumps all in that department.

Photo by: University of Kansas

Head games

Kansas unveiled new helmets that feature five colors and two styles of Jayhawks. The helmets give KU as many as 20 potential uniform options. Not to be outdone, Indiana unveiled six helmet designs that cover everything from a retro look to the school’s more traditional fare, to even a crimson-and-chrome candy-striped version.

Photo by: Nike

A more consistent bear

The University of California, Berkeley, spent nearly two years collaborating with Nike on uniforms to achieve brand consistency across all sports, which among other things resulted in a new snarling bear logo. Cal strayed from the extremes that have dominated many uniform do-overs, sticking with a clean and traditional look. No neon colors here or endless combinations. Instead, for the football team, a new gray uniform option is about as over-the-top as it gets.

Photo by: Miami University

The other Miami lets it fly

Miami (Ohio) University will take to the field in Adidas uniforms that include the school name on the shoulders of the jersey, and an exclusive numbering and lettering font. Hydrographics partnered with Adidas in creating a feather design for the helmet that provides the finishing touches for the RedHawks.

Also worth a mention:

Sometimes it’s the small details that make the biggest statements about uniforms. West Virginia’s Nike jerseys, for example, will feature a canary image stitched inside the front collar to represent the state’s coal heritage. Miners once used canaries in the mines to alert them of dangerous gases. The University of Tennessee football team will add outlines of the Volunteer State to the backs of its jerseys, reinforcing the school’s status as the state’s public university.

Photo by: Nike

The University of Arizona will wear updated Nike jerseys that feature ombre jersey numbers in the school’s traditional cardinal, navy and white, complemented by cardinal, navy, white and copper helmets.

North Carolina coach Larry Fedora surprised his players by revealing the program’s new Nike uniforms in a video. The new looks include an all-black uniform that will be worn for the Oct. 17 game against Miami. The school’s “Tar Pit Series” will feature a new alternate jersey or helmet one game each year.

Appalachian State unveiled Nike football uniforms that feature five combinations, including an alternate gray jersey with black pants. The team will go with a matte-finish helmet, including one version that features the classic “Yosef” mountaineer logo, complete with the corncob pipe.

Photo by: Adidas

Tradition-rich Notre Dame, as it did last season, will shake things up a bit in 2013 with a special Adidas jersey created for the team’s Oct. 5 game against Arizona State. The jersey is all-white with metallic gold and Kelly green shamrock accents.

Georgia State employed social media to tout its new Nike uniforms, which provide 12 possible outfit combinations for the Panthers this fall. For the unveiling, Seattle-based Tagboard.com aggregated social media messages about the new uniforms, with the university posting a new piece of the uniform “puzzle” over the course of two days.

Under Armour was holding off on releasing details of the uniforms it’s producing for college programs until closer to specific game dates. However, retailer Red Raider Outfitters, while waiting for its shipment of Texas Tech replica jerseys from Under Armour, posted drawings of new jerseys for fans to preorder. The drawings included a never-before-seen gray jersey. A clause in first-year Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury’s contract gives him the ability to oversee uniform design.

Houston’s football team will, for the first time, have an option for a white helmet. Overall, the team will have eight different uniform combinations from Nike to choose from this season.

Photo by: Western Kentucky University / Russell

Hundreds of fans turned out to watch Western Kentucky’s football team unveil its new red, white and black uniforms from Russell Athletic that feature reflective chrome helmets.

Fresno State will wear a mostly black uniform in its game against Nevada on Nov. 2. The look includes a black helmet with a red stripe down the middle, with the player’s number on one side and the Bulldogs logo on the other. The school spent about $50,000 for the Nike uniforms, and merchandise sales are expected to offset the costs.

Georgia made only subtle changes to its uniforms and made it clear that the school wasn’t touching the trademark “Power G” logo. Georgia did work with Nike on a new secondary logo, featuring a wide bulldog head in a red, spiked collar. However, the “Secondary Dawg” won’t be utilized for uniforms.

Source: SportsBusiness Daily archives

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