The old school style of two school colors and wearing the primary color for home games is long gone for most schools.
While there are still the traditionalists who stick to the basics, modern day recruiting is impacted by the swag-factor of a school.
Many colleges have switched to having many different combos to attract fans, athletes and even clothing companies depending on their jersey sales. Looking at what Nike did for University of Oregon, it is easy to see why many teams started opting for flashier styles.
After sticking with the basic school colors and the Oregon Duck on the sleeve, in 1995, previous Nike CEO Phil Knight was tasked
with new uniform designs.
Knight was asked by UO to create uniforms that would help bring in new recruits.
After donating over $300 million and creating countless uniforms, Knight helped establish the trend of creating flashy uniforms and essentially causing schools to go beyond their school colors to help draw more attention to their university.
Then there is Penn State University. A school that has not had major changes on their uniform since they were established in 1887.
The only noticeable changes in their uniforms were in 2012. Next, they added last names on the jersey to commemorate those who stayed through the Sandusky Trial in 2011. Those names were then removed in 2014 to return to their traditional look.
Companies have even begun buying out the school’s rights to design their jerseys for hefty prices.
Look at Adidas buying out Arizona State University’s uniforms in an eight- year $33.8 million ($2.4 annual) deal through 2023.
There is also Under Armour who took over UO’s apparel rights with a contract valued over $100 million.
The most in an apparel contract ever.
These universities and companies believe looking good and branding are important and have impacted this notion across the national scale.
Pacific University does not have many different uniforms, yet the uniforms are classy and professional.
With a singlet costing $66 each with a team of 20, Pacific’s wrestling team recently spent close to $1,500 on new singlets.
Although Pacific does not have flashy uniforms like UO, Pacific has taken strides to maximize uniform prowess by wearing a pink uniform for breast cancer awareness month.