Texas A&M unveiled new football uniforms on July 12. The Aggie athletic department had released small snippets of the uniform as the fans counted down to that date. The real question is, that in this day and age, do new uniforms matter?
Ever since Kevin Sumlin took over as head coach at A&M, he has set about tweaking the program more to his liking. Sumlin is attempting to change the overall brand of Aggie football to a more modern bent.
Under Sumlin, the Aggies play music during practice. It is a small thing, but it has had a positive effect on recruiting. A&M and College Station have always been cast as a conservative stronghold.
When a recruit from an inner city high school visits Aggieland and they are playing rap music during practice, it helps dispel some of the stereotypes. It also conveys an image counter to the conservative stereotype.
Sumlin wants to brighten up the football complex in order to attract recruits. The former coaches improved the facilities, but they are still not up to Sumlin's standards. He wants to change the facilities to give them a more inviting look.
Most of the changes that Sumlin has made have their roots in recruiting. You have to recruit great players in order to have an elite program, so Sumlin is doing everything within his power to make Aggieland more appealing to recruits.
Oregon was the first school to change up their uniforms. With Phil Knight and Nike as their major benefactor, Oregon was able to move to the cutting edge of uniform design. Their loud and multicolor uniforms are the trademark of their program.
Incoming recruits are now even offered the option of helping Nike design the uniforms. This has helped completely change the perception of the Oregon program and started a national trend towards changing up football uniforms.
Texas A&M is a school that is defined by its adherence to traditions. The Aggies have traditions about traditions. With this adherence to tradition comes an aversion to change. Most Aggies do not want to see radical changes to the football uniform.
Sumlin has recognized that switching up the uniform will appeal to recruits today. Every little thing matters in recruiting, and Sumlin will not allow other schools to have a recruiting advantage over A&M if he has any say in the matter.
Changing up the uniform does matter if the recruits think it matters. In this day and age, recruits want to have extra uniforms to play in other than the simple home and away uniforms. Sumlin is not going to allow A&M to fall behind when it comes to recruiting.
No program should change just for the sake of change. However, there is nothing wrong with updating the image of your program for the better.