Nike NFL Uniforms: Adrian Peterson Uncovers the Unfair Cost of Changing Numbers

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIFebruary 2, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 30: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs with a catch for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on October 30, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Adrian Peterson just educated his peers and fans on the cost to change numerical identities in the NFL. Players best be warned. AP gave a spirited Twitter rant about Nike charging him $1 million to change his jersey number from 28 to 23. Nike is now the supplier for NFL jerseys.

It seems harmless enough, but there is a deeper side to it all. For those who are unaware, here are the key quotes from AP:

#1 I’m in the top jersey sales! # 2 I see maybe 10,000 from those sales#3 I get paid under 1million a year#4 but I oder to change MY number
I have to pay a Million Bucks! Somebody’s winning in that situation & ITs not me! So clearly with that said I won’t be changing my number

This is about economic control, and from a business standpoint, I can see Nike and the NFL's standpoint to a degree. While a fee makes sense, $1 million seems excessive. 

It's true, there is a limited value to a jersey that has already been produced, but now shows an old number—especially while the player is still active.

So now you have however many thousands of purple Peterson jerseys with 28 printed on them. Obviously holding a diminished value, the fee is to pay the difference in production costs.

Only thing is this, we know most large companies pay little to no cost to produce jerseys, shoes and athletic apparel, while still charging far more to the public.

In addition, there is a new revenue source created with the production of the new Peterson 23 jersey.

Fans will largely treat this as a new jersey to pick up, and it seems logical to reason that many fans will purchase this memorabilia. This is new money, especially when you consider many of those fans probably already owned the No. 28 jersey.

Because of those two factors, I question the dollar amount of the fee.

Number changes in other sports aren't nearly as complex. In the past seven years, we've seen Kobe Bryant, Amar'e Stoudemire and LeBron James change numbers in the NBA. No exorbitant fees were reported in their cases.

I understand Nike's production of the jerseys makes things different in the NFL, but it's clearly an act of control that has become synonymous with the No Fun League..

I would not be surprised to see other sports follow suit, as this is certainly a revenue producer/saver, even if it isn't exactly employee-friendly.

In the end, Peterson has things in the proper perspective. Yes, he went on a rant, but I did not take it as whining as others did. Check out these tweets:

My take was that he wanted to expose the economics behind this situation.

Does he think it's unfair?

Yes, he does, but at the end of the day, he realizes it's just a number and that is evidenced by his reference to the jersey as his "work uniform."

Many people are offended by athletes making reference to money or getting the short end of a financial deal. It's all about perspective—just because he's rich doesn't mean he shouldn't be aware of what makes financial sense for him.

Banter about a uniform change may seem petty, but is it any more trivial than the majority of content we see on social media?

In fact, it's more relevant, and it helps to educate his peers. If he didn't know the rules until he inquired about the change, you can bet there are a host of other players who didn't know either.

As long as players know where they stand, they should never take things personal, and they will be in the best situation to make rational decisions.

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