While Nike grabbed all the headlines for landing a 10-year deal to produce the official NFL game day jerseys and sideline apparel beginning this year, overlooked in smaller font was another licensing change that will have a more significant impact on daily attire of consumers; New Era taking over the official NFL headwear business.
At least it is a more important issue to me. In fact, I haven’t been this excited about a particular brand landing a league licensing agreement since Zubaz brought zebra print Hammer pants to NFL sidelines 20 years ago.
See, like many Pro Image Sports customers, I’m a New Era junkie. (We need an appropriate nickname for these people. NewEraddicts? Fitted-freaks? Help me out here.) Don’t get me wrong, the new Nike jerseys bring a sleek, modern look to the NFL brand and they are in high demand at every Pro Image Sports store. The dry fit training shirts are popular as well.
But you simply can’t wear a jersey every day of the week the way you can your favorite hat, and there is no disputing who the king of fitted headwear is. I have long been an avid Bears fan, but have never liked wearing stretch fit hats (my alien shaped dome is typically too big), and the NFL hat designs have always been geared more towards the guy who likes to paint his face when he goes to games. This is what I feel like NFL headwear was like before New Era took over.
There is a large fan base for those types of hats, which is why a standard curved bill, flex fit hat is referred to as a “fan hat”. That just isn’t me.
New Era is largely responsible for producing some of the iconic sports brands of our times. The iconic timelessness of many MLB hats such as the Yankees, Tigers, Dodgers, and Red Sox is what New Era is seeking to accomplish with the NFL brand.
I have been waiting my entire life to have a clean fitted navy Chicago Bears hat with just the logo. No frills. No fuss. Now I can have it.
It isn’t just the fitted headwear that is in great demand from New Era’s NFL line. They have also rolled out a classic looking fan hat, that will come in three sizes so those of us who wear a 7 5/8 or larger can have a shot at wearing a L/XL without needing Excedrin.
Now instead of the official NFL team hat changing every year with the different trends, there will be consistency in the look, the brand, and the fit of your favorite NFL team hat.
“We wanted to get back to the roots of authenticity,” said Senior Director of On-Field Products Todd Sokolowsky. “This cap will live past multiple seasons.”
And for that I, for one, am grateful.Request Info