BY DAVE RAGAZZO
Sometimes, change can be a good thing. The NFL is very optimistic that their change in uniforms from Reebok to Nike for the 2012-13 season will bring nothing but good things to the league.
On Tuesday night, the league held an NFL themed fashion show to show off their new threads for all 32 teams. Some of the players on hand to showcase their team’s new jersey’s were Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Rothlisberger, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, just to name a few.
Nike and the NFL hope that the new design, which is made up of lighter materials that fit to the body better, will bring in higher revenue from merchandise sales and will help the players perform at the highest level.
So far, the response has been good from various players around the league. New York Giants breakout receiver Victor Cruz, who has his own clothing line Young Wales, is hopeful that the new uniform design will help him elude tacklers better than he already does.
"That's the biggest thing for me: making sure that I'm sleek and I'm fast and I can't be grabbed or held," Cruz said yesterday according to USA Today.
According to that same USA Today story, Nike chief executive officer Mark Parker said the uniforms are 20% to 30% lighter than the Reebook jerseys that the players have worn for most of the last decade.
For the most part, all the team’s kept the same basic design that they had last year with the exception of the Seattle Seahawks. They not only added a hint of neon green to their jersey, but also made their logo more aggressive looking.
With most owners being conservative and protective of their traditional looks, it was somewhat surprising to see Commissioner Roger Goodell’s approval of the new uniforms.
“I love them,” Goodell said at the fashion show.
Nike will have control over the NFL uniforms and merchandising sales for the next five years with the deal beginning on Sunday. According to the Licensing Letter, which tracks the sale of licensed goods, last year’s merchandising sales for the NFL hit $3 billion.
Nike believes that they can top this number and uniforms will go on sale starting April 26. Jerseys will range anywhere from $100 for the most basic to $250 for their “elite version.”
In the meantime, fans can purchase new team themed t-shirts and hoodies from Nike. New Era is controlling the production of team caps and prices for this merchandise ranges from $24.99 to $54.99.