How Nike brought combat to a Ducks scrimmage

How Nike brought combat to a Ducks scrimmage
Nike Inc. designed new military themed uniforms for the University of Oregon Ducks' spring game, which takes place Saturday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. Though it's an intra-squad game, this is considered the "home" uniform. Photo courtesy Nike Inc.

It used to be that things like the annual college football spring game and college basketball's Midnight Madness were more glorified practices than major sporting events.

Then the hoops event became a made-for-TV spectacle and football's Spring Game an opportunity for Nike Inc. to trot out specialty uniforms, like those they unveiled Thursday for the Oregon Ducks.

At least the latest addition to the Ducks' overflowing football wardrobe appears to be a one-off novelty. The olive colored "home" set and white "away" uniforms were designed with a military theme, meant to honor American service members.

Ducks players will present their jerseys to roughly 100 men and women from all branches of the military following the game Saturday.

“Words cannot express our gratitude to the men and women who serve our country and this is why we will continue to salute our armed services as part of our Spring Game,” Oregon head football coach Mark Helfrich said in a news release. “Obviously we are extremely fortunate that Nike has chosen to play a major role with their innovative uniforms designed for this special day.”

That sure beats the old see-through mesh practice jerseys of yore.

Click through the photo gallery to view the uniforms and learn more about the inspiration behind them.