In the last few years, college football teams around the country have swapped out uniforms the way Terrelle Pryor used to go through loaners from the local Cadillac dealership. While old schoolers like Notre Dame and Ohio State have tinkered with unique looks, Oklahoma has clung to its iconic crimson and cream kits.
The Sooners joined the party Tuesday, though, unveiling their new look, dubbed "The Rough Rider."
I'm sure scores of 50-year season-ticket holders across the state have already dropped strongly worded letters to the editor in the mail to express their displeasure.
Personally, the alternative uniforms don't exactly strike my fancy, either. (I prefer the "Ruff Ryder.") Yet, aside from dropping the news during the USA-Belgium game in the World Cup, I love how the athletics department approached this.
The multimedia marketing package centers around a sharp, interactive microsite dedicated to the story behind the new gear. It includes a hype video (above) tying the uniforms to the history of the program.
Most importantly, the marketing effort takes great pains to show the importance of the uniforms to the players. For example, this promotional video showcases the involvement of players in designing the uniforms and highlights the technical aspects of their new equipment:
And the reaction video from the team is nails:
That's why you do this. I may not love these uniforms, but this isn't about me.
OU generally bends over backwards to cater to the traditions that fans love. It has played a huge role in making the program what it is today. In that context, it's easy to forget that the entire enterprise hinges on the guys who actually take the field.
So, if you hate the thought of OU's football team having the gall to play a couple times a year in new duds, save it. Leave what the players have to wear up to the people who have to wear it.