Around this time each year, we get a sneaky preview of the designs for the new NFL and NCAA football uniforms for the upcoming season. Although many of the new uniforms are interesting, there is one team that consistently impresses us year after year with their dynamic and colorful kit – the University of Oregon. Better known as the Ducks, The University of Oregon took to the field on Saturday for their annual Spring Football Game, once again wearing uniforms that honor the men and women who serve our country.
For the past four years, Nike and the University of Oregon have partnered to create a custom-designed uniform for the team’s final Spring scrimmage. This year, both the home and away uniforms have unique details including new nameplates, insignias and patches that tell stories of support and honor. Following the scrimmage, Oregon football players will present their specially made jerseys to approximately 100 uniformed men and women representing all branches of the military.
Nike co-founder and University of Oregon Track & Field Coach Bill Bowerman’s time in the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army provided inspiration for the white away football uniform design. Bowerman’s division wore an all-white uniform and was trained for mountain terrain and arctic conditions.
The olive home uniform design was inspired by Oregonian Art Miller’s lifetime of military service in the 41st Division of the U.S. Army. Miller played linebacker for the Ducks as a freshman in 1939 before joining the National Guard and being called to active service. Trained in military intelligence, Miller served the country for more than 29 years and eventually retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was honored in a pre-game ceremony along with other former Oregon football players who served in the military prior to the Ducks’ Sept. 18, 2010 game vs. Portland State.
The new “titanium carbon” finish on the home uniform helmet features a unique fade from yellow to anthracite in order to elevate the iconic Duck wing pattern on either side.“This is a proud moment for University of Oregon’s Football program and Nike to give back to the community,” said Todd Van Horne, Global VP and Creative Director for Nike Football. “We are proud to honor both Art Miller and Bill Bowerman with these new uniform designs in order to honor Oregon’s men and women of service.”
“Words cannot express our gratitude to the men and women who serve our country and this is why we will continue to salute our armed services as part of our Spring Game,” Oregon head football coach Mark Helfrich said. “Obviously we are extremely fortunate that Nike has chosen to play a major role with their innovative uniforms designed for this special day.”
The Oregon Ducks uniform is a complete Nike system-of-dress where the baselayer, padding, jersey and pant work in concert in order to provide the ultimate in lightweight speed and protection. Lightweight padding is integrated directly into the crucial “hit zones” in the baselayer.
Innovations include Nike Chain Maille Mesh technology, which is incorporated into the back and under the arms for exceptional ventilation and durability. Nike Flywire technology is integrated into the neckline for reduced weight and better lockdown fit over pads; increased sleeve articulation provides better range of motion; and all-over four-way stretch fabrication provides a streamlined shrink-wrap fit.
Nike Pro Combat DeFlex padding eliminates bulk and allows for low-profile, lightweight impact protection specifically throughout the crucial “hit zone” between the knees and shoulders. It is also integrated in the hip and knee areas of the pant for crucial impact protection that stays in place.