One of the most intriguing aspects of college football’s trendiness also happens to be one of its simplest elements: uniforms. Uniform changes and updates remain an entertaining offseason storyline as teams continue to trend towards thinner, tighter uniforms with the latest colors and designs. One of the biggest changes will happen in August when Michigan makes the switch from Adidas to the Jordan brand. We can’t speculate on what the changes will look like but what we can do is look at some of the latest trends that have already shifted the look of the trendiest programs. Here is a look at the college football uniform trends to monitor in 2016.
Pairing Past With Present
It only makes sense that teams will do their best with uniform trends to look as relevant as possible – especially when there is so much focus by this generation on uniforms. One interesting storyline that has emerged is the pairing of past traditions with present looks as teams look to carry over as many elements of their old looks as possible to their new jerseys in order to keep both the traditional fan base and their newer fans happy. A number of programs have undergone major jersey changes over the past couple of years while still keeping many elements of their original jerseys to help bridge the gap between past and present.
One of the latest uniform trends is the complimentary kits. Michigan State opted to run with an alternate kit that included a Greek “key pattern” on the shoulders of its alternate jerseys a year ago while Florida State added patterns to its sleeves and neckline in 2014. While it isn’t a major difference, it is a significant enough tweak to notice and a slight way to refresh the outlook for the jerseys. The Spartans have been in the national spotlight over the last couple of seasons but their jerseys have mostly been plain. This is their way of trying to spruce things up a little bit to look more appealing.
As for Kentucky, they opted to shake things up with a checkerboard design on its sleeves that has drawn praise from its fans. They’re a program that is slowly on the rise and these minor stylish changes make a difference. If you can show recruits that you’re hip and cutting edge, they’re more likely to be attracted to the program. It will also help that their jerseys are also slimmer with sharper color contrasts.
Unique Number Fonts
The days when every college football program had jerseys with block font numbers on both the front and back are in the past as teams have transitioned to their own individual types of fonts. Oklahoma State’s most recent change includes what the team describes as a “barbed wire typeface” on the front that they feel further drives the program’s cowboy culture while Rutgers opted to switch its numbers to the most traditional look while limiting the changes to the actual uniforms. Teams will do several different things to shake things up and the numbers are the latest area where they have shifted their focus in terms of finding different types of digits. Also, remember that each time a team makes a jersey change, they increase the need for fans to go out and get the latest and greatest, which generates more revenue for the schools.
Jersey Sales Thrive
In addition to looking good on the field, increasing the hype surrounding the team and recruiting, the different jersey looks also helps to drive jersey sales as fans want the newest and latest editions of their team’s jerseys. That has led to an increase in jersey sales across the country, although, there are some legal challenges that still have to be overcome so that the teams can sell the numbers of the popular players.
Diehard college football fans will stay on top of the latest uniform trends in order to have the freshest gear and the trend towards constantly updating jerseys has really helped drive the market while allowing jersey sales to thrive.