Though the news of Nike’s exclusive deal with the NFL broke some time ago, the agreement will officially go into full effect this month and the look of Monday Night Football is about to change. Replacing adidas, this will be the first time that Nike, who was a NFL supplier in the mid-nineties and has maintained individual deals with players, will exclusively supply all 32 teams. The deal, for which Nike reportedly paid $1.1 billion dollars, covers the entire player’s uniform including jerseys, belts, pants, socks and gloves.
Nike recently made some very innovative changes at the college football level and is hopeful to bring the same positive change to the professional arena. Major redesigns to the former uniforms are taking place and it was from the players that Nike got both suggestions and inspiration, for example many of the uniforms will feature a more formfitting design allowing the players better mobility. Earlier this year, Nike pitched each team methods of improving their jersey though some teams were unable to make many changes because of the NFL rule that states a teams jersey can only be changed every 5 years. For teams not bound by this rule, including the Seattle Seahawks, the players of the 2012 season will look noticeably different when running onto the field.
Fans will be able to buy the newly designed jerseys at the end of April, timed perfectly to coincide with the NFL draft. As of February 29th, Nike has already seen a 16% jump in apparel sales and this deal is estimated to yield Nike over $350 million dollars in profit. We have all heard the adage "the cloths make the man," and this fall we will see if Nike has found the key to the uniform making the football player.