Nike Unis Are Here

The University of Pittsburgh's athletics programs are swooshing into a new era this week, as in the Nike brand's signature "Swoosh.''

The Panthers' football team and all 19 Pittsburgh sports programs will wear Nike uniforms beginning with this season.

"We have entered into a long-term partnership for all of our sports in the athletic department right across the board to be outfitted by Nike,'' Pitt AD Steve Pederson said. "We're excited about this. It's a great, long-term partnership with a great company.

"And I can tell you that in particular that our student-athletes are thrilled with this, which is one of the main reasons that we made the change. You'll see slight differences in our football uniforms. The designers (theme) was to respect the past, (but) represent the future.''

Redshirt sophomore fullback Henry Hynoski was kind enough to model one for Panther Digest and spoke highly of the new jerseys, as did his teammates.

"The uniform is real comfortable,'' Hynoski said. "There's a lot of breathing room, compared to last year's, which didn't give much at all. If it was tight, it stayed tight. This one, it has a snug fit, but it stretches a lot. It expands when needed. It's kind of like spandex or something like that.''

Here's a look at the front of the uniform. A side view appears at the top of this story.

Pederson noted that Pitt's new Nike gear will go on sale this week and continue to arrive throughout August, and fans get secure a wide range of products that include sideline gear, coaches polo shirts, hats, jackets and outerwear.

"We're going to have everything out starting with our season-ticket pickup on Wednesday,'' Pederson said. "And the merchandise will continue to sell in the stores as we go, like our Team Store, which will have everything Wednesday. And the store at Heinz Field will be open during FanFest, and we're getting a lot of merchandise in the other stores as well.''

Pitt has more than 450 student-athletes to fit for Nike footwear, uniforms, practice gear and equipment.

"The University of Pittsburgh is an outstanding institution with a rich sports heritage,'' Nike director of college sports marketing Kit Morris said. "Nike is excited to become the official supplier of athletic football, apparel and equipment for the Panthers, and we especially look forward to outfitting all of Pitt's student-athletes and coaches from its 19 sports programs.''

While Pitt's football uniforms were ready today, it appears that the Panthers won't be the first team to wear Nike gear. It seems that the women's volleyball team gets to wear new uniform first.

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