For years, football fans have watched the University of Oregon’s Ducks hit the field in some of the most swagged-out uniforms in the history of turf, thanks to Nike. Now that Nike and the NFL have announced a new, five-year partnership that will kick off in the 2012-2013 season (when the 10-year contract with Reebok is over), fans will get to see what the pros look like in Nike’s state-of-the-art threads.
On Tuesday (April 3), the NFL and Nike unveiled early versions of the new jerseys to the public with the help of commissioner Roger Goodell and 32 of the league’s brightest stars. Mike Vick, Ben Roethlisberger and 2012 Super Bowl champion Victor Cruz were among those on hand to show off their new Nike gear and answer questions.
(Watch Victor Cruz talk about getting love from his hometown and dance salsa with a reporter)
“Nike is the hottest thing out right now,” said New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas of the collaboration. “I’m from Chicago, so I grew up on Jordans, grew up on Mikes. That’s all I love. That swish, man, you can’t turn that down.”
While it was Nike’s status as a style icon that had most of the players excited to rock the classic swoosh, the new uniforms are also extremely functional. “I love them, first because it starts with the performance side,” explained NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell before introducing the army of NFL stars who modeled the new threads on stage. “(Performance) is what we’re all about, and to have that kind of performance with that kind of a look and feel— talking to the players, they don’t wanna take them off.“
Mathis was not the only player to allude to the improvement he saw on the uniformsnow that Nike has taken over as the NFL’s official supplier. “I’m just happy that we in Nike jerseys this year,” said Tennessee Titan’s receiver Nate Washington, “I knew they were gon’ take the time out to really make the players feel comfortable.”
Though every uniform has a newer, cleaner look, the Seattle Seahawks were the stars of the show as their new neon green-accented jerseys drew praise from more than one of the players as the hottest uniforms out. “Hopefully, they can change up the styles a little bit more,” said Thomas, “’Cause I’m not gon’ lie, the Seahawks prolly got the best uniforms right now, man. They’re kind of like the pacesetter right now, so everybody’s chasing them.” —Calvin Stovall (@CalvinStovall)