Friday November 20, 2009Nike Unveils Newly-Designed Florida Football Uniform
On Saturday, Nov. 28, the University of Florida football team will take the field wearing the Nike Pro Combat uniform, a new system of dress and the lightest football uniform Nike has ever created. The new materials and fabrication elements will be incorporated into the Gators' future uniforms, whose designs will reflect the more traditional, current uniform appearance. The unveiling event took place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, as part of Verizon Wireless Gator FanFest near Gate 2 of the Stephen C. O’Connell Center (Photos). Florida will be one of 11 elite football programs to debut the Nike Pro Combat uniform this month before they are officially introduced at the start of the 2010 season.
Florida is joined by Clemson University, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, the University of Miami, Virginia Tech, the University of Missouri, The Ohio State University, the University of Oklahoma, The University of Texas and TCU as the schools debuting the Nike Pro Combat uniform this month.
Nike designed the Nike Pro Combat uniform to address the evolution of the game: today’s players are stronger and faster and the collisions are more violent and explosive than ever before. Nike also worked with coaches and administrators at Florida to bring inspiration to the Nike Pro Combat uniforms that the Gators will wear on November 28th.
Superior Lightweight Innovation
The Nike Pro Combat uniform is 37 percent lighter than current designs (673 grams vs. 1,061 grams). Nike utilized a four-way stretch twill that does not hold sweat or water and as a result, the new uniforms are 46 percent lighter than the current designs when wet. Overall, the Nike Pro Combat uniform, when wet, is still lighter than the current Florida design when completely dry.
Designed from the inside out, the Nike Pro Combat uniform begins with the Nike Pro Combat padded base layer. Strategically placed padding zones in the Nike Pro Combat Deflex shorts cover the thighs, hips, and tailbone. The padding zones are comprised of dual-density foam cells that absorb, deflect and disperse the impact of on-field collisions. A foam grid intersects the cells to maximize impact absorption and increase flexibility. A hard plastic shield covers the thigh padding where impact frequently occurs.
The Nike Pro Combat Deflex shorts are made with Nike Dri-FIT technical fabric to provide superior moisture wicking, helping to keep players dry and cool.
With the padding incorporated into the base layer, players gain greater mobility over traditional padding and the outer uniform becomes a lightweight, breathable shell with a sleek, explosive look.
“Players need their uniforms to be as light as possible so they can play the game at top speed,” said Kris Aman, Global VP and General Manager for Nike Athletic Training which includes football. “The Nike Pro Combat uniform is a modern system of dress that is dramatically lighter while providing durability and protection.”
Nike scrutinized every detail of the Nike Pro Combat uniform with the goal of shedding as much weight as possible, right down to the D-ring on the belt. Nike opted for a titanium D-ring, which is extremely durable and 66 percent lighter than the standard steel belt enclosure.
Engineered high-tenacity yarn inspired by Nike Flywire is incorporated into the high impact shoulder area. The belt loops have been padded to provide added protection to the hip area without the bulk of traditional hip pads.
The new uniforms also feature improved ventilation and breathability. Side ribbed-piping on the uniform pant has been replaced with sublimated Nike Dri-FIT mesh, which not only shaves grams off of the pant weight, but also aids evaporation in key areas. Nike Dri-FIT mesh wraps behind the knees, a key cooling zone on the body. By adding innovative evaporation and cooling zones, the player’s body expends less energy regulating body temperature, leaving more energy for the game.
Completing this true system of dress for football is the new Nike Zoom Vapor Fly cleat, which Nike customized for Florida featuring the Gators’ team colors, team logo, and chrome-plated outsole. This incredibly lightweight cleat at just 10 ounces is available in 2010. It features Zoom Air cushioning in the heel and Flywire engineering in the medial and lateral quarter panels.
Inspiration to Succeed
Nike designers immersed themselves in Florida Gators’ history and lore to bring inspirational cues to the look and direction of the Nike Pro Combat uniforms.
The Gators’ team motto “PRIDE” is embroidered on the inner collar of the jersey and on the cuff of the Nike Vapor Trail 2.0 gloves. The word “PRIDE” is printed on a plaque hanging in the Gators’ locker room in Gainesville, Fla., that players touch before each game. The plaque is taken down and travels with the team to every away game.
A clean letter “F” replaces the “Gators” script on the helmet, while clean lines run throughout the uniform.