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The NFL’s In-House ‘Uniform Geek’ and His Amazing Uni Career

Paul here, letting you know about this week’s Bulletin article. Last week, as you may recall, I had an interview with Giants creative services director Doug Murphy. Today I have an interview with another key behind-the-scenes figure in the NFL uni-verse: Jonathan Wright, a self-described “uniform geek” who’s the league’s Senior Director for Uniforms and On-Field Products. As indicated in the graphic above, he’s also worked with other leagues and sportswear brands, creating a wide-ranging uni-centric career for himself.

Wright was a fascinating guy to interview. We talked about the new alternate helmets, some of the league’s uni rules, the possibility of uni ads coming to the NFL, and a lot more. I think you’ll really enjoy our discussion.

My Premium Subscribers can read the article here. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can do that here (you’ll need a Facebook account in order to pay). Don’t have or want a Facebook account? Email me for workaround info. Thanks!

Comments (11)

    Is it possible to indicate Bulletin content in the title for these types of posts? Could make for a better experience for those who don’t subscribe. Just a thought, feel free to use it or not.

    For example
    Bulletin! The NFL’s In-House ‘Uniform Geek’ and His Amazing Uni Career

    or

    The NFL’s In-House ‘Uniform Geek’ and His Amazing Uni Career (Bulletin)

    That was an interesting read. Three points I thought stood out the most:
    1. The attempted explanation of how Carolina is able to use their alt helmet with a standard jersey where Cincinnati is not doing it. I still can’t seem to make sense of the Bengals having two jerseys that are nearly identical, other than the off chance they think they can get fans to buy both white jerseys.
    2. When asked about the process for uniform changes being the same for small tweaks vs complete overhauls. The answer seemed to really indicate how much the tail wags the dog with retail considerations. I think we all got that impression already, but pretty much confirmed it.
    3. Discussion of how the NFL probably wont be like the NCAA with alt designs because of the importance of the teams brands. But Year 1 of the alt helmet rule seems to indicate NFL teams don’t have a problem deviating from brands and/or easily recognizable looks when you turn the game on. That might be the pitch from the head office, but if teams start to think they can sell more merch by having more alt looks I think the importance of team brands stops being touted.

    Surprising how that he seemed much less a uniform design geek, and instead more a geek on the practicalities on uniforms. Got the impression that he is a guy that will be sure to enforce the rules and guidelines on uniforms (which is good) but is less concerned with if those rules and guidelines make teams more likely to have bad looks.

    What is the process that the team has to do in order to delegate the uniform schedule for a NFL season. Does it have to be approved by the commissioner’s office?

    Can I sample the premium content before I subscribe? I could have missed it on the site, but would just like to read a couple articles before I jumped in. Thanks!

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