In the spirit of the basketball movie classic Hoosiers celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Indiana Pacers will partner with Metro Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM) to wear Hickory uniforms during select games in the 2015-16 season.
The Pacers were unbeaten in six games when wearing the retro “Flo-Jo” uniforms last season. The Hickory attire will be part of the NBA Pride Collection.
The Hickory uniform is a tribute to the rich tradition of basketball in Indiana — the 1986 movie starring Gene Hackman was loosely based on Milan High School’s 1954 championship squad that prevailed on Bobby Plump’s game-winning shot in the final seconds.
These Hickory Huskers uniforms will “serve as inspiration to fans everywhere that no matter how improbable the challenge may be, amazing things can be accomplished through teamwork, determination, heart and hustle,” the Pacers said in a team release.
“Our team will be honored to wear the Hickory uniforms because of the attention it will bring to the storied history of Indiana basketball and the success of that movie,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “Hoosiers takes us all back to a special place and time.”
Hoosiers was written by Angelo Pizzo and directed by David Anspaugh, both Indiana natives, and received two Academy Award notations, including Dennis Hopper for Best Supporting Actor. The movie is regarded as one of the best sports movies of all time.
Todd Taylor, Pacers Sports & Entertainment’s Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, championed the idea of wearing the Hickory uniforms and worked with MGM on the partnership.
“Obviously, we revere the film, but more importantly we believe our organization, especially our players, embody the core message of the story – by coming together as a team, there is nothing that can’t be accomplished,” Taylor said.
The Pacers will wear the maroon-and-gold uniform in select games for several seasons.
“While the uniform being worn in front of a worldwide audience is thrilling, we are equally excited about the additional opportunities the partnership provides both on and off the court,” Taylor said. “The ‘Miracle Men of Milan’ are just one of the legendary basketball stories in the state. We look forward to drawing attention to the contributions and accomplishments of those that have made Indiana synonymous with the game of basketball.”
While the central and most visible component is the Hoosiers uniform, the partnership also will allow for a variety of unique community outreach and awareness opportunities throughout the State of Indiana.
Details on which games the players will wear the Hickory uniforms will be announced at a later date.
“With the 30th anniversary of Hoosiers approaching, MGM is excited to partner with the Pacers organization for this perfect tie-in,” said Michael Brown, MGM Executive Vice President Marketing. “We look forward to seeing the players wear the Hickory jerseys with pride.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.