The Dolphins may get a facelift for the 2013 season.
Nothing drastic, but team President Mike Dee said the Dolphins are soliciting fan opinion and will consider alterations to their logo and look to take advantage of opportunities under the NFL’s new apparel licensing agreements.
“I don’t think you’d ever see us consider something as radical as Tampa Bay did going from the orange to the pewter gray. … But I think we’re actively looking at ways to keep the brand current while respecting the great tradition and iconic value that we’ve been fortunate to inherit,” Dee said.
“That may result in some change, it may result in subtle change, it may result in no change. It’s too early to tell, but we’re talking to fans and listening to fans.”
For 2012, there was no change in the appearance of the Dolphins’ uniform unveiled by Nike on Tuesday. The differences are in the materials, composition and fit – “purely performance-driven,” Dee said.
“It won’t even be that visible to the naked eye. Perhaps the fit might be,” he said. “It is a matte finish, so if you pay attention to the details it will be a different look.”
The Dolphins have made slight changes to their logo with the dolphin and orange sunburst since the 1966 debut. The most recent variation was in 1997 to the bolder, fiercer dolphin that appears on the side of helmets and jerseys.
“We’re anxious to talk to fans, and whatever we do it is going to be with great reverence and respect for the history and iconic nature of all the marks and symbols fans have come to know and like,” Dee said. “We’re not looking to enact any radical changes. … We will keep great respect of the history and tradition of the logo and the look and feel of the team. That is not going to change under any circumstances.”
Only the Seattle Seahawks requested a redesign for 2012. Their new jerseys are deep blue with silver numbers and wide silver shoulder stripes. Both have lime-green piping. The pants have a stripe of stylized wings down the side.
The Denver Broncos are going back to their roots with an orange jersey after wearing navy in recent years.
The NFL is anticipating a significant revenue boost with the switch from Reebok to Nike and several other companies for league apparel.
Nike is producing all on-field apparel, including game uniforms and base layers, as well as sideline personal apparel and fan gear. New partners include New Era (hats for sideline personnel and fans) and ’47 Brand (hats for fans). Other licensees include Under Armour (sponsor of the NFL Combine), GIII (outerwear), VF (T-shirts and fleeces) and Outerstuff (youth apparel).
It is estimated that nearly half of the NFL’s income is generated by licensed goods, including apparel, video games and novelty items. The new deals are seen as helping offset declining ticket sales.
Fans will have more choices at team stores and online outlets. They will also pay more for some items. The base price of replica jerseys will go from $85 under Reebok to $100 with Nike.
“The appeal of the products is going to be much greater than they’ve been in recent years,” Dee said. “There’s going to be a lot more cool stuff available.”
Pre-order for NFL jerseys on NFLshop.com will begin April 15, and various items will begin showing up in stores this summer.
Photo: The current Dolphins logo was updated in 1997. A new variation may be coming in 2013. (Photo courtesy of Nike)