The Golden Age of Sports Uniforms

I will be the first to admit it, I am a sports uniform dork.   I think that when you combine my love of sports and design, you get an absolute fascination with sports uniforms.    And while I can appreciate a good uniform, whatever sport it may be, I definitely gravitate towards football, soccer and hockey.   Those are not only the sports that I enjoy, but also I think the sports that take more liberties and chances with their uniforms.

We all know that design is a subjective concept, so a uniform that one person likes might not be what another person enjoys.    I completely understand that.  I also understand that the genesis of alternate uniforms, special one-shot uniforms, etc, is a marketing ploy to develop more merchandise to sell.   But if a team or school does their uniform remodel correctly, it can really become a thing of beauty.

And that is why I believe we are really in the Golden Age of Sports Uniforms.

It has been a few years coming, this influx of new uniforms.   And as much as you might hate them, the roots of this evolution we currently are experiencing can be traced to Eugene Oregon.

Nike changes the rules

Yes, Nike has more money than most countries.

Yes, Nike is overpriced at times.

Yes, some Nike stuff is GOD AWFUL.

But all that said, what Nike did up at the University of Oregon has really changed the landscape of athletic uniforms, and ushered in this Golden Age.

I am guessing that you know the story of Phil Knight and his Oregon connection, so I will not bore you with regurgetiation.  But this is a pretty cool video done by about Duck unis.

Now, are 413 million uniform combinations a bit much?  Sure, I think that is safe to assume.  But, without Oregon and Nike doing what they did at Oregon, we would not be able to experience exciting uniforms for other schools.

Even the little guys are getting in on it

This is really the reason that I can say we are in a Golden Age of uniforms.   Your big Division 1 schools have always had a ton of resources at their disposal.   Traditional football powerhouses have the funds to get new uniforms, and the fan base to support purchasing them year in and year out.  But what is really exciting is that the smaller schools are getting into the act now.

Case in point, my Alma Matter, Fresno State.   This year, they rolled out 2 new uniforms.    It is slightly a departure from the traditional Red unis they have always had (that were classic IMO), so I might not agree 100% with some of their choices.  But the away white, and the specialty black….AWESOME.

3 variations on the ‘Dogs lids

If you want to see more on the Dogs new unis, check them out here

Black is the new black

The black, specifically matte black craze, is alive and well right now in college football.  And I, for one, am a fan.

From North Carolina

The all black alt uni for UNC, and one of the best promotion names EVER, Zero Dark Thursday, for their Thursday night debut. Courtesy of the Nike Blog

To the matte black helmet UW will debut vs Oregon

Pretty sweet lid. Courtesy of Nike Blog

Pushing the Envelope

I remember flipping around one Saturday night, and coming across Arizona State.   Not only have they debuted new uniforms, but they have taken it to a new level.

Check out these lids…made of course to look like the flames of a Sun Devil

Awesome. Just Awesome

But not only the helmet, but the entire uniform package is fantastic.  Especially the numbers…the way they did the gradient to make it look like a flame.   Looks amazing on TV

Courtesy of Uniform Critic

But it is not just college

I have just scratched the surface of the new college uniforms.   If you want to explore more on your own, I encourage you to visit

But that is just the tip of the iceburg.  Literally.

From soccer

To hockey

There is some really, really, really cool stuff coming out.

I will post more down the line.  But for now, I need to find a way to hit the lottery, so I can afford to actually purchase all the sweet jerseys I keep seeing.


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