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Nike Launching New System of Dress Basketball Uniforms

BEAVERTON, OR (6 March, 2007) – Nike is launching the new System of Dress basketball uniforms this week at men’s basketball conference tournaments around the country. The new uniform design, which gives the players a more tailored look on-court, is Nike’s latest apparel innovation. The Ohio State University, the University of Arizona, Syracuse University and the University of Florida are expected to sport the new look at their respective conference tournaments this week.

The System of Dress from Nike, which the Florida Gators men’s team debuted on February 28, is comprised of a Nike Fitted Jersey – a lightweight, breathable, form-fitting top – and long, lightweight, loose-fitted shorts. The combination creates a dramatic new silhouette for the game of basketball. Fans and members of the media can see the dramatic new look at www.systemofdress.com.

The System of Dress from Nike introduces a performance look borne out of true performance insights as well as a shift in culture surrounding the game to a more sophisticated, tailored look, but also the desire among youth to personalize their uniform look. Nike will provide teams with Nike Pro Compression long sleeve, short sleeve and sleeveless base layer tops as well as leg wraps so that players can create a unique look for themselves. While developing the new look for each team, Nike designers were determined to honor each school’s past champions and provide today’s players with the opportunity to do so, as well. Designers researched not only the basketball programs but other sports, university insignias, past hall of fame players, mascots and even the school bands.

The result of all of their research was a look for each team that is embraced by the coaches, players and administrators of each organization. The base layers, for instance, list the names of past hall of fame players for each university.

The Ohio State University The letter and number blocking on the Ohio State uniforms was borrowed from the 1960 Buckeye team that won the national championship. While commonly known as a perennial football powerhouse, the Nike Pro Compression base layer players can wear beneath their jerseys pays tribute to the Buckeye’s rich basketball tradition by calling out a number of players by name.

The new uniforms also feature the LeBron James logo created by Nike. A big Buckeye fan since James was a child, Ohio State is the only college team to wear the “L23” logo on its uniforms.

The University of Florida The Gators have the newest tradition of success of the four schools. Nike designers went immediately to the source of pride of many of the players and student body: the alligator.

The alligator was chosen as the school mascot in 1911. It may seem an obvious choice today given the habitat of the species throughout Florida, but varying explanations are given as to why the mascot was selected. Local legend attributes the choice of mascot to many different stories including a local vendor who chose to place an alligator on banners at the time; other stories attribute it to the name of the school’s team captain at the time. The scales of an alligator can be seen on one of the new base layers created for the University of Florida basketball team. A raised scale pattern has also been incorporated into two of the Gators’ new Nike Fitted Jerseys. Past school hall of fame players are called out in text near the bottom of the Florida base layer that players can wear beneath their Nike Fitted Jersey.

University of Arizona The look created by Nike designers for the University of Arizona Wildcats was classic and based upon head coach Lute Olson’s passion for tradition. For instance, Olson has demanded that the Arizona logo on the floor of the basketball arena featuring a cactus remain in place and there it has been since Olson took over the program in 1983.

On the new uniforms, the “CATS” logo reads vertically, a signature look to Olson’s era. The Wildcats have a base layer they can wear beneath their Nike Fitted Jersey which contains the names of past school hall of fame players in text near the bottom.

Syracuse University Nike designers drew inspiration from and created a look that is reminiscent of the 1970s era Syracuse Orangemen, down to the iconic blocking on the shorts.

For the first time, Syracuse players will wear the word “ORANGE” on their home jersey. Not only is this designed to call out the Syracuse nickname, but to also serve as a tribute to the Syracuse player and fans’ fierce passion for their mascot.

On the base layer created to be worn beneath the Nike Fitted Jersey, are the letters “BSB” in script on the left chest right over the heart. The design is borrowed from the first Syracuse basketball logo created for the team around 1900. On that same piece rising from the bottom are the names of past school hall of fame players in text. The new uniforms will be available to fans across the country at Niketown, select Nike retail partners and bookstores on all four participating university campuses. The Nike Fitted Jersey will retail for $75, and the loose-fitted short will retail for $60.

About NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) 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; Bauer NIKE Hockey Inc., a leading designer and distributor of hockey equipment; Cole Haan, which designs, markets, and distributes fine dress and casual shoes and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle