The NFL and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell proudly unveiled the league’s new team uniforms in New York on Tuesday.
The new uniforms, with the traditional touch, were powered by Nike and were displayed at a football style fashion show. The traditional look for all 32 teams in the NFL was in question when Nike took over the rights to handle the NFL’s merchandise from Reebok, knowing the respectable company was going to put a little spice into the uniforms.
After the unveiling, Goodell believes that the teams and the fans will be fine with the new appearances.
“You can put innovation into the uniform without changing the look,” said Goodell, according to a release statement. “Some teams will want to push the envelope a little bit from a looks standpoint, and that’s fine. We want them to do that if they do it along with the fans, which they will.”
Goodell respects and honors the brand of the NFL and wasn’t concerned about the clubs having new look of the uniforms, per say. However, the uniformity of the league was the main situation Goodell wanted to address.
“No, the only uniformity we want is actually in the way the uniform is worn, not in the look,” said Goodell. “We think that part of being professional as a league is having a uniform code. We get some criticism from that, but it is really part of looking professional.”
According to Nike chief executive officer Mark Parker, the uniforms are 20 to 30 percent lighter than the Reebok versions of last season, which were worn by the players, and there is padding built into parts of the uniforms.
Nike focused on manufacturing the uniforms from within, instead of attempting major visible changes on the outside, by using lighter fabrics and flexible materials. The new technology used by Nike for the new NFL uniforms is the Nike Elite 51.
According to Goodell, the fans will appreciate the new products of the NFL, as they will have the same pleasure to experience the new fit and fabrics the players will encounter.
“It is all great for the fans because what it means is the league is partnering with Nike, a great brand, and we are going to make things better,” said Goodell.
“We are going to find new ways of presenting our athletes and presenting our game. Most importantly, the fans will be able to touch and feel that themselves with their own product. We will be able to give them the same product they are seeing on the field.”
The Seattle Seahawks are the only team in the NFL that will receive a total new look. Nike’s headquarters are located in Seattle and the company has a heavy influence on the city and the team. Other than that, Goodell is pleased with the new innovations, with the teams’ tradition unharmed.
“There are a few ways you do that. I think you saw it in the uniforms today,” said Goodell.
“Some of those uniforms from a looks standpoint didn’t change, but they incorporated innovation within the performance aspect of them,” he added. ”You can see it in the materials. They are lighter. “They have temperature control aspects to it. The performance is so important for the athletes. What we have tried to do is innovate. Even if the look doesn’t change, there is innovation. But we will see changes. You saw it with the Seahawks. There will be more to come.”
According to reports, NFL stars, such as cornerback Champ Bailey of the Denver Broncos, running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens, quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers, and wide receiver Wes Welker of the New England Patriots, showed up to model the new look uniforms.
While the league was celebrating the new uniforms, questions about disciplining players who, allegedly, participated in the bounty scandal surfaced, and Goodell stated he hopes to reach a decision soon.
“We met with the NFLPA yesterday, which I think you are all aware of,” said Goodell.
“We shared more information with them so they are up to speed. I will be having conversations with (NFLPA Executive Director) De(Maurice) Smith as soon as tomorrow. I hope we will be able to make some decisions soon.”
“I believe in getting as much information as possible,” he added. “We respect the players. This is important because it is a player safety matter. We think that we need to get some input from them.”