April 1st marked the beginning of a new age in the National Football League, as after a decade as the NFL's official apparel supplier, Reebok has been supplanted by Nike, who will kick off their five-year run as the NFL's clothier by unveiling new uniforms for all 32 teams on April 3rd.
The folks from Beaverton, Oregon have kept a pretty tight lid on exactly what these new jerseys will look like, but a little information has made its way to the public, so here's a look at the latest from the NFL fashion beat.
The more things change the more they stay the same
Fans looking for the sorts of radical changes that were on display when fake "concept sketches" of the new uniforms made their way around the internet are likely going to be disappointed, as with the exception of a few minor alterations, the new uniforms will almost certainly look an awful lot like the old ones, at least for now according to a report by NESN's Jeff Howe.
Because Nike has doled out some wacky redesigns for its college football uniforms, it's been easy for NFL fans to wonder if their teams are at the mercy of Nike's crew of mad scientists.
Again, that won't be the case. Any significant alterations would be subject to layers of approvals by the NFL and its teams, which means Nike doesn't have complete autonomy with the designs. Plus, due to that process, which would involve numerous people in different forums, it's unrealistic to think any radically different designs wouldn't have been leaked at this point.
Down the road, it's likely Nike will get more creative with its uniform plans, as its unique vision has routinely created successful marketing opportunities. But for Tuesday, expect Nike's first run of NFL uniforms, particularly in regard to the Patriots, to look similar to Reebok's recent models.
Logo tweaks for Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks
This isn't to say that there won't be any changes to some teams' uniforms for the upcoming season, as reports have leaked that at least two teams will be getting new logos, albeit ones that look quite a bit like the old ones.
T-Shirts and hats featuring the new logo for the Carolina Panthers, which the Charlotte Observer reported is meant to feature a "a more aggressive, contemporary look," went on sale at the Panthers team shop Monday, while an NFL Network broadcast over the weekend featured a slightly different logo for the Seattle Seahawks that sports a gray stripe that the Seattle Times theorizes may tie into the new alternate jerseys that the team is expected to unveil Tuesday.
Color changes for Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars
Logos aren't the only items getting a minor facelift when Nike takes the reins, as a couple of National Football League squads are making changes to their primary uniform colors. Those could be the most visible differences between the new jerseys and the old ones produced by Reebok.
It won't happen until 2013, but the Jacksonville Jaguars will be receiving one of the more thorough makeovers from Nike, switching their primary uniform color from teal to black, according to Pro Football Talk, while the Denver Broncos received permission from the National Football League to switch their primary home color from navy blue to orange, according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post.
"This is what our fans wanted," Broncos president Joe Ellis said. "And we're going to accommodate their wishes starting with 2012."
The team will not change the current design — the orange jerseys you saw the Broncos wear in the opener against the Raiders will be the same design in 2012.