MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (1/20/12) - The University of Minnesota football team will have a new look when it takes the field for the 2012 season-opener Sept. 1 at UNLV's Sam Boyd Stadium. The Gophers will be wearing newly-designed uniforms by Nike.
The Gophers introduced their new uniforms Friday afternoon. The uniforms have been completely re-designed by Nike. The Gophers will be able to combine gold, white and maroon jerseys with gold, white and maroon pants.
The fully-integrated uniform system incorporates the latest in performance innovation and design. The redesigned base layer facilitates the uniform’s overall innovation, delivering the ultimate in lightweight protection for maximum speed. Strategically placed seams, pads and cooling zones also help minimize distraction and optimize protective coverage.
The Gophers’ new uniforms come from the Nike Pro Combat system of dress, an innovation that Nike debuted at the 2010 BCS Championship Game.
“Nike takes pride in giving athletes an advantage by providing them with cutting edge innovation. The Nike Pro Combat system of dress uniform delivers unparalleled on-field performance benefits while inspiring the team through each uniform’s unique design,” said Todd Van Horne, Nike’s Creative Director for Football. “It is a privilege to collaborate with the coaches and student-athletes to develop a look that’s truly distinctive to each university and its teams.”
The design was influenced by Minnesota’s rich history and tradition. Perhaps the most recognizable feature of the new uniforms will be the font used for jersey numbers and other text. Nike used a number four found on a 1940 jersey worn by the National Champion Gophers and built an entire letter and number font, which is exclusive to Gopher Football.
Brick patterns and texture are also prominent in some of the design elements. Jersey numbering and lettering on the white and gold jerseys will be printed with a brick pattern, which was taken directly from one of the walls of Memorial Stadium, which is on display at the McNamara Alumni Center. Meanwhile, the finish of the new helmets was designed to simulate the look of brick.
The Minnesota name on the front of the jersey has been replaced by the Block M. The maroon and white jerseys feature each player’s name on the back, while the gold tops simply say “Minnesota” on the back, serving as another reminder that Gopher football is Minnesota’s team. Piping is gone from the pants, while a Block M on the hip has been added.
The integrated uniform system provides enhanced durability and innovation from the inside out. Robust padding without the bulk offers optimal low-profile impact protection specifically throughout the crucial “hit zone” between the knees and shoulders. Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding has also been integrated in the hip and knee areas of the pant for crucial impact protection that stays in place. The base layer now features customizable protection, incorporating a thin, incredibly strong carbon fiber plate that can be placed on the thigh padding where needed.
The uniform system design also emphasizes improved thermoregulation, including the Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding layer, which is constructed with fabric selected for its ability to help keep the body cool and wick away sweat – making the uniform, and player, lighter and dryer. The jerseys are made of four-way stretch woven twill that sheds moisture. A Flywire collar eliminates two layers of fabric for improved breathability, providing a more stable anchor to keep the jersey in place.