Branding in Football

September 13, 2013

Football season is back in full swing, and with it comes a season’s worth of new uniforms. Nike provides all NFL teams their home and away uniforms each year which incorporate the latest innovations in sporting equipment. Flywire, a technology found in many Nike athletic shoes, is woven in place to help keep the weight low while holding the uniform in place.

Along with updated hardware, teams occasionally change their logos and identity altogether to give their franchise an updated look. This year the Jacksonville Jaguars did just that through their re-branding effort by updating their logo and uniforms. The team wanted a more intimidating look while also paying tribute to its dedicated military-centric hometown of Jacksonville. The re-branding acknowledges their fan base while simultaneously creating new opportunities in merchandising.

Jacksonville Jaguars unveil new uniform design for 2013 (photo from

While the NFL gets new uniforms once a year, some college football teams get new uniforms for every game. Most famously the Oregon Ducks, sponsored by Nike, and more recently the Maryland Terrapins who are sponsored by Under Armour. Both athletic companies are using the popularity of college football to strengthen their brand by using the teams as proving grounds for their new gear. At the same time, the schools use the popular uniforms as a recruiting tool to lure the best high school athletes to their programs. You can check out this site for every new college uniform of 2013.

Another opportunity for branding within football is the individual players themselves. Though the NFL strictly governs what players can and cannot wear, there is some room for individualization when it comes to face masks. One of the most famous face masks in the NFL belonged to LaDainian Tomlinson. His jet black visor and Darth Vader like face mask, along with his unbelievable running ability, made him one of the most recognizable and popular players in the game.

Ladainian Tomlinson Darth Vader Helmet (photo from

Winning is still the most important part about football, but building a brand, whether it is individual or team, is an undeniable part of the game. Without it, I’d never have a set of six holographic Washington Redskins cups in my cupboard. Go Skins!

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Written by: Bryson Stewart, Mechanical Engineer, Beyond Design, Inc.

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