Seahawks’ new uniforms inspired by the Northwest

Nike redesign: Team’s 12th man sets tone for number of feathers trailing down outside of pants

ERIC D. WILLIAMS; Staff writerApril 4, 2012 

The Seattle Seahawks chose bold over status quo.

While most NFL teams saw only minor tweaks to new uniforms, the Seahawks experienced a major overhaul, which debuted Tuesday.

Nike, the new supplier of uniforms and apparel for the league in a five-year deal that began April 1, introduced new uniforms for all 32 teams in Brooklyn, N.Y., with league commissioner Roger Goodell presiding over the unveiling.

It’s the first time Seattle has introduced all-new uniforms since Reebok’s 10-year relationship with the league began in 2002, when the team changed to a darker blue in concert with the opening of Seahawks Stadium that year.

Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor was the team’s main model for the new uniforms in New York.

The Seahawks received a revised helmet logo, color and design schemes. Other changes included 12 feathers down the side of the pants, a nod to this area’s American Indian heritage and the 12th Man.

The Seahawks also debuted an alternate gray uniform.

The radical change for the Seahawks makes sense, with geographical neighbor Nike just a couple of hours away in Beaverton, Ore.

Nike chairman Phil Knight, a University of Oregon product, already made the Ducks his private laboratory for uniform development. So it’s only natural that his Pacific Northwest neighbor, the Seahawks, take on a similar role in the NFL.

“I was pretty impressed,” said Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, when asked about the uniforms during an interview on KJR-AM radio. “I like how innovative Nike is, creative with their designs.

“I think more teams should have switched it up and tried something new.”

While some longtime fans grumbled about the “new age” uniforms for the 36-year-old franchise, desiring a return to the more traditional silver helmets and royal blue jerseys the team donned during the Seahawks’ inception in 1976, overall they were well-received.

In a News Tribune poll asking fans to give Seattle’s new duds a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, 65 percent voted in favor of the new uniforms.

“Whether you like the new uniforms or not, the game doesn’t change,” Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said via Twitter. “I’d rather have a winning record in sweatpants than a losing one in silk.”

Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 eric.williams@thenewstribune.com blogs.thenewstribune.com/seahawks

ABOUT THE UNIFORM

The Seahawks logo on helmet is bigger and bolder, connecting at a point in the back of the helmet. Broad chest graphic outlining the shoulders echoes the stance of a Thunderbird totem.

The Seahawks mark above the heart honors the team.

Feather-pattern graphic on helmet, in numbers and on pants represents natural elements of the Pacific Northwest, again inspired by coastal Indian art.

The 12 feathers on the pant leg stripe represent the 12th Man. Twelve feathers are also featured on each side of the neckline, and the 12th Man logo is sewn on the inside back collar of the jersey.

Nike uniform is 20% lighter, 50% stronger and provides more of a shrink-wrap fit than previous models.

Jerseys will go on sale on April 26 at the Pro Shop and on seahawks.com.

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