NFL teams are getting new Nike uniforms, but the look is about the same for most teams.
Linebacker Karlos Dansby modeled the Miami Dolphins’ familiar aqua primary jersey at a gala unveiling Tuesday in Brooklyn, N.Y., and it was difficult to discern any difference.
The team had said that no change to the logo or look of the uniforms was planned for 2012. Some tweaks to the logo are planned for 2013, according to a team source.
The big change will be in how the players feel inside the uniforms.
Nike took over from Reebok as the NFL’s apparel maker Tuesday and showcased a new line of high-tech uniforms. Overall the changes were described as more evolutionary than revolutionary.
The hype accompanying the debut of the uniforms created major anticipation and traffic on social media sites such as Twitter.
The status quo was disappointing for some.
“The new NFL Nike football uniforms are the same as the old ones... So pointless,” tweeted Sloobs22. And from Mgray5: “congrats to nike for making every NFL jersey either the exact same or more bland than they were.”
That may be due more to the conservative leanings of the NFL than Nike. Nike brand president Charlie Denson stirred speculation when the deal with the NFL was announced in late 2010, saying, “We plan on changing the NFL jersey dramatically just like we’ve done with the college programs.”
As it turned out, the most significant new look is the addition of the Nike swoosh on the shoulder.
The technology is a departure for all the teams to materials Nike has been incorporating in uniforms for many college teams.
The 32 NFL teams will be wearing the Nike Elite 51 uniform made from state-of-the-art four-way stretch mesh that’s two times stronger than last year’s jerseys. The new jerseys are 30 percent lighter when dry and 50 percent lighter when wet, according to Nike, than those worn by NFL teams last year. They are designed to speed the release of heat and core temperature and promote cooling.
Gloves with the team logos similar to worn by college teams were shown recently at the Pro Bowl.
Nike also displayed new fan gear for each team including T-shirts, hats, jackets and sweats. New apparel will be available for pre-sale at NFLshop.com beginning April 15.
NFL stars modeling the uniforms included Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers and Wes Welker of the New England Patriots.
"I love them...The players love them," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said at the unveiling.
USA Today quoted Victor Cruz, of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants, as saying the new uniforms are sleeker and more form-fitting. which should help him elude tacklers better.
The unis "conform and fit your body," said Cruz. "They're tight.
Nike President and CEO Mark Parker said in a recent interview with CNBC's Darren Rovell: "We've innovated at a very high level. The uniforms are lighter, they're faster, they're better fitting. So, the athletes are actually very excited about what we're going to bring to the professional game. People are wondering, 'What are you going to do? Are you going to get crazy with the uniforms?' I think we're actually going to have some fun but respect the tradition of these teams at the same time."
Here is Nike description of the technology: The new uniform focuses on creating a system where the base layer, padding, jersey and pant work in concert. Flywire technology is incorporated into the neckline to reduce weight and provide a lockdown fit over the pads. The uniform also features increased sleeve articulation for better range of motion and the integration of new four-way stretch fabrication to provide a streamlined shrink-wrap fit.
LIGHTER - The Nike jersey and pant, wet or dry are lighter than previous versions
FLYWIRE TECHNOLOGY - Eliminates layers, reduces weight, and provides lockdown fit
ZONED MESH VENTILATION – Provides cooling zones for optimal thermo-regulation.
ZONED STRENGTH - High tenacity, stretch material, for lightweight lockdown strength.
CUT FOR MOBILITY – Four-way stretch, hydrophobic materials enable range of motion wet or dry.
STRETCH TWILL NUMBERS – Four-way stretch even on numbering system.
CUSTOMIZABLE BASELAYER PADDING – Nike Pro Combat Hyperstrong baselayer with integrated lightweight, Deflex padding offering customizable flexible protection.
DEFLEX PADDING - Lightweight, flexible impact protection integrated into top “hit zone” areas.
ALUMINUM D-RING BELT - Aircraft-grade aluminum D-ring belt reduces weight.
Photos: Courtesy of Nike