Bottled Courage

The USS Carl Vinson has seen more than its fair share of action during nearly 30 years of active service. This Veterans Day, the vessel will add another accolade to a long list of honors, becoming the first-ever US Navy aircraft  carrier to host an intercollegiate athletic event. The contest features perennial powerhouse and preseason No. 1 North Carolina versus formidable foe, Michigan State University in the Carrier Classic.

To pay homage to our veterans while authenticating the look and feel of the game, both schools will be dressed in camouflage-print Nike HyperElite uniforms – the brand’s most advanced system of dress and lightest basketball uniform ever produced. The Army Combat Uniform (ACU) pattern, which Nike obtained special permission from the US military to use, celebrates the sacrifice and service of all military members, serving at home and across the world.

The state-of-the-art uniforms not only pay tribute to our military, but are made with an average of 80 percent recycled polyester – made from recycled plastic bottles. This historicgame marks the debut of Nike’s recycled-poly uniforms which will be worn by more than 80 NCAA teams this season.

“We have the utmost respect for the unwavering commitment of our Armed Forces and are honored to be part of a tremendous tribute to these men and women,” head coach Tom Izzo (MSU) said. “We both hold the military in the highest esteem and wanted our teams to reflect this in their game day attire. We also agreed that ‘United We Stand’ was the perfect motto for the game on this Veterans Day,” added head coach Roy Williams (UNC).

In addition to the overt camouflage and superior weight reduction, the game uniforms feature many unique embellishments. An American flag prominently sits on the left side of the chest above the heart on each jersey, while the name plate on the back bears the letters U.S.A. instead of the player’s last name. Additionally, 11-11-11 is stitched into the waistband belt buckle of the uniform short to remind everyone of the special date.

The camouflage design extends through the entire system of dress, specifically carrying over to one side of the arm sleeve. The Spartans also have camouflage on the upper of its footwear while the Tar Heel’s is visible on the shoe mid-sole.The matchup between these yearly Final Four contenders features schools with seven combined NCAA basketball championships. This first-of-its-kind game will be played on the ship’s flight deck, and with the heightened level of excitement among each school’s fans, Nike will host viewing parties on campus at designated locations (TBD).

About Nike
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Cole Haan, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Umbro Ltd., a leading United Kingdom-based global football (soccer) brand; and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories.

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About Jordan Brand
Jordan Brand, a division of NIKE, Inc., is a premium brand of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories inspired by the dynamic legacy, vision and direct involvement of Michael Jordan. The brand made its debut in 1997 and has grown into a complete collection of sport performance and lifestyle product. The Jordan Brand remains active in the community through its new corporate responsibility program WINGS for the Future, focusing on three unique community programs emphasizing Education, Sport and Creativity.


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  • Ffi Davies

    This looks pretty cool