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2012 Jerseys: Nike Plans To "Have Some Fun", But Will "Respect The Traditions"

As you already know, Nike will be replacing Reebok as the NFL's uniform provider in 2012. While many fans apprehensively wait for the new look of their team's jerseys, Nike has done a very good job of keeping things under wraps. The only signs that fans have received have been short, ambiguous quotes by Nike's administration.

Today, Nike's CEO and President Mark Parker shed some more light on the situation when he made an appearance on CNBC, saying that Nike will "have some fun", but will also "respect the traditions":

According to SportsBusiness Daily, Parker said, "[People] are wondering, ‘Well, what are you going to do? Are you going to get crazy with the uniforms?’ We’re actually going to have some fun, but respect the traditions of these teams at the same time."

To me, it sounds like Nike may make a lot of adjustments to the uniforms, just as long as they don't tick off a fanbase by designing a jersey that came completely out of left field.

Nike has never said that they won't drastically alter the NFL uniforms. They haven't said much at all really. But, in 2010, Nike's Brand President Charlie Denson did say, "We plan on changing the NFL jersey dramatically just like we've done with the college programs". That quote was a bit of a slip up, and Denson received much public backlash when fans weren't ready for dramatic change.

Since then, the league announced what they expect from Nike, which was only "new uniform technology" [1/24/12] :

"Logos are controlled by teams and the NFL," league spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT by email this morning. "That will not change. Teams have to apply to league to make changes to logos and colors."

"We anticipate new uniform technology (i.e., performance-driven, lighter materials). That’s what Nike’s [Charlie] Denson was referring to in his interview in 2010 regarding changes."

Altogether, these quotes portray a classic corporate hush before an upcoming announcement. I feel that the league is simply downplaying the changes the Nike will make in order to sustain jersey sales until the new jerseys are announced.

We'll never really know until that time. Speculation is that the NFL Draft may serve as the "coming out party for Nike's new line", but no one knows for certain.