The NFL and Nike revealed the new Elite 51 uniform designs for all thirty-two teams today in New York City. Judging from the photos released by Nike and what the players are saying, the changes in the uniforms will be much more noticeable to the players than to the eyes of the fans on Sunday afternoons this fall.
Nike is taking over as the on-field and sideline apparel provider of the NFL, a position which was previously held by Reebok. There were no dramatic changes made to the Denver Broncos' uniform design, with the collar area of the team's jersey being altered and the main jersey color changing from blue to orange.
"The Denver Broncos have chosen to take full innovation in the Nike Elite 51 football uniform," Nike said of the new technology utilized in the uniform. "The Broncos design aesthetic will stay true to years past while updating the color-blocking in the neckline in order to accommodate the Flywire technology to reduce weight and provide a lock-down fit over the pads."
Cornerback Champ Bailey represented the Broncos at the event, displaying his No. 24 jersey. "These new uniforms are going to be nice," Bailey Tweeted a few moments before Denver's uniform was unveiled earlier today.
The team's formerly blue collar is now blue half-way and orange towards the tip and the orange jersey appears to be a slightly different shade of orange from the team's 2011 alternate uniform. While the appearance of the uniform hasn't undergone any big changes, the feel has. The uniform is 30% lighter than the team's 2011 uniform and has a better range of motion, according to Nike.
"My jersey fit like a glove,” defensive end Mitch Unrein told DenverBroncos.com on Tuesday. “There is no extra material on them. It’s just boom, fits perfectly on the pads."
"Designed and engineered from the inside out, the new uniform focuses on creating a system where the base layer, padding, jersey and pant work in concert," said Nike. "A few of the new innovations include increasing sleeve articulation for better range of motion and integrating new four-way stretch fabrication to provide a streamlined shrink-wrap fit."
The new design was created to make players faster by giving them less resistance and helping them to perform to the best of their ability. According to Unrein, the tight-fitting jerseys will also help him try to slip through offensive lines.
"The fit helps you out a lot if you’re a defensive lineman because it has that nice cut around the arms, so those offensive lineman can’t hold on to you as much.”
The team's alternate uniform is expected to be the same design as the main orange uniform design, with blue being the main color. White is expected to be the main color of the away design.
More images of the team's new uniform can be viewed on Broncos Zone's Facebook page. Video of Bailey talking to NFL Network about the new uniform can be viewed on the team's official website.
The new jerseys will be available for pre-order on April 15th and will begin being sold on the first day of the 2012 NFL Draft — Thursday, April 26th.