Look Good. Feel Good. Play Good.

Posted: November 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Every year at the beginning of the football season, Duck fans anxiously wait to see the years’ latest fashion statement.  The first game of the season against LSU Oregon fans were introduced to a fresh new set of uniforms that resembled a similar design to the Ducks 2011 national championship jerseys.  The Ducks uniforms are so innovative that a few years ago Sports Illustrated ran a feature slide-show containing the large variety of Oregon’s uniform combinations.  18-slide “uniform” feature on Sports Illustrated.com.

 

The Oregon Ducks football program has revolutionized uniforms in college football.

Oregon has become the trend-setter in college sports apparel.  Teams throughout the nation are constantly turning to Oregon for the latest fads, often finding themselves inspired to reconsider their own appearance.  Ask any current or former athlete; most will confirm that if you look good, you feel good, you play good.  Oregon’s success as a top tier athletic program is closely related to the exceptional uniforms and athletic gear provided to the athletes who decide to quack and become a Duck.

Let’s be honest:  How else could Oregon continue to bring top recruits around the nation to little ol’ Eugene without some sort of incentive?  They couldn’t.  Darron Thomas, Eddie Pleasant, and former quarterback Jeremiah Masoli had a hand in developing the most recent “winged” uniforms.  Nike Vice President for Design and Special Projects Tinker Hatfield said that the ability to help design new uniforms with Nike is a selling point used in Oregon’s recruiting efforts.  It’s working.  Rivals may make fun of our uniform ADD, but while they’re laughing, we keep reeling in top flight recruits … and winning!

The support that the athletic program receives from Nike has proven to be a substantial contributor in turning Oregon athletics into a national powerhouse.  Phil Knight should be known as “Santa Claus” throughout Eugene.  Where would Oregon be without Uncle Phil?  Since making the Rose Bowl in 1917 and 1920, the Ducks rarely found their way into bowl games until 1989.  Coincidence?  I think not.

However, the University of Oregon is not the only one benefiting from the revolutionized uniforms.  Nike has been able to use the Oregon Ducks football program to market new products and test equipment that hasn’t even been released to the public.  In the last few years, Ducks football has received more publicity than ever before in the history of Oregon athletics.  Some people will argue this is the outcome of winning, which the football team has been doing a lot of lately.  Yet I encourage you to check the top ten teams in the latest BCS rankings and notice which brand name the teams are sporting.  Not one of the teams is wearing anything other than Nike.  Realistically, uniforms and equipment can only do so much, but Nike has me — and nearly everyone else — convinced.

The Ducks football team is just as much defined by their style of play, as they are by their style of uniforms.    Call me crazy, but it’s hard to dismiss the influence Nike has had on the Oregon Ducks football program.  The Ducks may very well be the only team in the NCAA that has a marketing team supporting their cause and here I thought we were dealing with college athletics.  Oh wait, we are.  As for now, may the saying remain true:  You look good, you feel good, you play good.

 

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