Nike unveiled today its Nike Elite 51 football uniforms for the 2012 NFL season – a head-to-toe integrated system of dress.
NFL players Victor Cruz, Ndamukong Suh, Larry Fitzgerald, Brian Urlacher, Ben Roethlisberger, Champ Bailey, and Ray Rice were some of the athletes representing each of the 32 NFL teams joining Nike President & CEO Mark Parker, Nike Brand President Charlie Denson and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to unveil the highly innovative new uniforms.
“The NFL is one of the greatest sporting leagues in the world,” said Parker. “We know football demands the best and we look forward to delivering performance innovation and style on the field, in the stands and on the street.”
“The NFL is pleased to work with Nike,” said Goodell. “This relationship continues our commitment to delivering fans worldwide the best sports and entertainment experience. We are looking forward to the excitement and innovation Nike will bring to our game, players and fans.”
Designed and engineered from the inside out, the new uniform focuses on creating a system where the baselayer, padding, jersey and pant work in concert. Lightweight padding is also integrated directly into the crucial “hit zones” in the baselayer. New innovations include integrating Flywire technology into the neckline to reduce weight and provide lockdown fit over pads, increasing sleeve articulation for better range of motion, and integrating new four-way stretch fabrication to provide a streamlined shrink-wrap fit.
“With today’s game being about strength and speed, it’s extremely exciting to know that when I take the field for the 2012 NFL season, I will be doing so in a uniform that is lightweight, fast and durable while also providing the targeted protection I need,” said Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. “As a player, you want zero distractions on the field.”
In addition to the new fabrication and performance-led design, teams chose varying levels of design changes reflecting their unique heritage. For example, the Chicago Bears chose to continue to honor George S. Hallas, – the revolutionary player, coach and respected innovator – by enlarging his GSH initials on the jersey sleeve. The Seattle Seahawks worked with Nike to re-design the entire design of their uniform to honor the team’s Northwest roots, and also give a nod to the fans.
“Our brief was to provide players with everything they need and nothing more. We blended cutting edge technology and fabrications with more than 40 years of knowledge, craft and insight into the game,” said Nike’s Design Director for Football, Todd Van Horne. “We worked closely with the teams, listening to their needs and delivering the best options to serve those athletes.”
The agreement with the NFL gives Nike rights to be the official uniform supplier of the NFL for on field, baselayer, sideline and practice wear. Product for the 32 team uniforms is scheduled for pre-sale on April 15th onward on nikestore.com, NFLShop.com and individual team websites. Fans can buy jerseys starting April 26th via their team stores and starting April 27th at broader retail locations including Nike stores.
The Nike Elite 51 – A Completely integrated System of Dress – key features include:
* 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 thermoregulation
* ZONED STRENGTH – High tenacity, stretch material, for light weight 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.
The uniform also features the Nike Vapor Game Sock – a highly innovative sock designed specifically for football. The knee-high design combines compression, Nike Pro inspired cushioning, mesh venting and structure precisely where needed.
The Nike Vapor Jet 2.0 Gloves deliver a lightweight, breathable and articulated fit combined with innovative Magnigrip on the palms and between the fingers for a tacky grip suitable for all weather conditions. The team logo is featured prominently on the palm when athletes interlock both hands.
The Nike Vapor Talon Elite cleat is designed to maximize speed with premium performance attributes including adaptive traction, Hyperfuse construction and carbon fiber strength. Utilizing the best of Nike’s proven technologies, it provides lightweight traction and durability and a lockdown fit. Built for diverse ground conditions, the adaptive traction system utilizes on-demand forefoot talon cleats for multi-directional field movement.