Nike launched the new System of Dress basketball uniforms this week at men's basketball conference tournaments around the country. Ohio State, Arizona, Syracuse and Florida are expected to sport the new look at their respective conference tournaments this week.
The new uniforms will be available across the country at Niketown, select Nike retail partners and bookstores on all four participating university campuses. The Nike Fitted Jersey will retail for $75, and the loose-fitted short will retail for $60.
The System of Dress from Nike, which the Florida Gators men's team debuted on February 28, is comprised of a Nike Fitted Jersey — a lightweight, breathable, form-fitting top — and long, lightweight, loose-fitted shorts. Nike said the combination creates “a dramatic new silhouette for the game of basketball.” The new look can be seen at http://www.systemofdress.com.
Nike added that the System of Dress “introduces a performance look borne out of true performance insights as well as a shift in culture surrounding the game to a more sophisticated, tailored look, but also the desire among youth to personalize their uniform look.”
Nike will provide teams with Nike Pro Compression long sleeve, short sleeve and sleeveless base layer tops as well as leg wraps so that players can create a unique look for themselves. While developing the new look for each team, Nike said its designers were determined to honor each school's past champions and provide today's players with the opportunity to do so, as well. Designers researched not only the basketball programs but other sports, university insignias, past hall of fame players, mascots and even the school bands. The result of all of their research was a look for each team that is embraced by the coaches, players and administrators of each organization. The base layers, for instance, list the names of past hall of fame players for each university.
For example, the letter and number blocking on the Ohio State uniforms was borrowed from the 1960 Buckeye team that won the national championship. While commonly known as a perennial football powerhouse, the Nike Pro Compression base layer players can wear beneath their jerseys pays tribute to the Buckeye's rich basketball tradition by calling out a number of players by name.
The new uniforms also feature the LeBron James logo created by Nike. A big Buckeye fan since James was a child, Ohio State is the only college team to wear the “L23” logo on its uniforms.
For the Florida Gators, which have had the newest tradition of success of the four schools, Nike designers went immediately to the source of pride of many of the players and student body: the alligator. The alligator was chosen as the school mascot in 1911. The scales of an alligator can be seen on one of the new base layers created for the University of Florida basketball team. A raised scale pattern has also been incorporated into two of the Gators' new Nike Fitted Jerseys. Past school hall of fame players are called out in text near the bottom of the Florida base layer that players can wear beneath their Nike Fitted Jersey.
The look created by Nike designers for the University of Arizona Wildcats was classic and based upon head coach Lute Olson's passion for tradition. For instance, Olson has demanded that the Arizona logo on the floor of the basketball arena featuring a cactus remain in place and there it has been since Olson took over the program in 1983. On the new uniforms, the “CATS” logo reads vertically, a signature look to Olson's era. The Wildcats have a base layer they can wear beneath their Nike Fitted Jersey which contains the names of past school hall of fame players in text near the bottom.
For Syracuse University, Nike designers drew inspiration from and created a look that is reminiscent of the 1970s era Syracuse Orangemen, down to the iconic blocking on the shorts. For the first time, Syracuse players will wear the word “ORANGE” on their home jersey. Not only is this designed to call out the Syracuse nickname, but to also serve as a tribute to the Syracuse player and fans' fierce passion for their mascot.
On the base layer created to be worn beneath the Nike Fitted Jersey, are the letters “BSB” in script on the left chest right over the heart. The design is borrowed from the first Syracuse basketball logo created for the team around 1900. On that same piece rising from the bottom are the names of past school hall of fame players in text.