Official test of the TNIAAM Syracuse Orange football shirt

The Syracuse Orange football team is getting a makeover this year, thanks to a jersey redesign with its new extension with Nike. The SU bookstore was the first to carry the new blue, white and orange jerseys, and there have been questions about the various prices and descriptions which are very #BRAND. I figured that as the resident jersey nut, I would go through all three jerseys and explain what some of the Nike lingo means to a fan looking for one of these Cuse jerseys.

Nike basics

When Nike acquired the rights to the clothing from the NFL, they overhauled the way they sell replica jerseys to fans. There is an agreement with Fanatics to allow for a faster turnaround time on equipment, and replica jerseys are the main driver.

Nike created four different replica jerseys at different prices to ensure on-demand production and entice more casual fans to buy jerseys. These are Legend, Game, Limited, and Elite, with prices increasing in that order. Basically, the gist is this:

  • Legend – Fancy Jersey T-Shirt, in Dri-Fit material. This is the Nike training gear that you will get with some shirts and sweatshirts.
  • Game – A more traditional replica jersey, with some markings sewn in, but screen printed numbers and words.
  • Limited – A more premium replica jersey, with stitched numbers, word marks and nameplates. For Nike, that also means a slightly more athletic fit in the jersey fit.
  • Elite – A true replica of the field team jersey in cut and sewn, including team patches.

So how do the Syracuse jerseys stack up?

Blue Jersey

This is a Nike Legend jersey, and that’s why it was the first one available. These are the fastest for Nike, which is why on Fanatics you will almost always see at least one Legend jersey offer for your NFL team. This is the only jersey that I did not buy, as I have a Game blue jersey of the latest Syracuse design. It’s definitely a great option for summer / early fall play as the Dri-Fit material breathes well. However, I don’t like buying Legend jerseys because it looks like an overpayment for a Nike jersey with a jersey pattern on it. I know people who prefer the concept of the Legend because the fit and feel is more natural.

White Jersey

The white jersey is a game jersey, with screen printed shoulder, back and chest numbers. The collar has a screen-printed “For the Glory” slogan, a Nike swoosh and the team name “Orange” on the chest. The stripes on the sleeves are definitely screen printed, however, as with their NFL jerseys, they are made of a different material which certainly looks more like a traditional jersey. The S block on the navy blue collar is stitched and the collar itself is made of a material intended to mimic the collar on the court.

The biggest difference between this Game jersey and other Nike Game jerseys? There are no side panels or shoulder cuts. The jersey is cut in the same way from a replica jersey material, but on the NFL jerseys there is a side panel that goes from the armpit to the site which is stretch breathing. These jerseys are one solid shirt with no additional yokes.

Orange Jersey

The orange jersey is identical to the white jersey, just with the different stripes on the sleeves and the color of the number. The jersey has the same fit, fit and feel as the white jersey.

Final thoughts

Overall, these jerseys are what to expect in the first year of a new Nike deal. Some of you might be wondering where the Limited and Elite jerseys are, and that’s a good question. I haven’t seen Limited or Elite jerseys for any team outside of Nike (Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida) and Oregon playoff schools, but I wouldn’t be shocked if any return was sold exclusively as Limited Jersey. When Color Rush was first announced for the NFL, the jerseys were only available in Legend and Limited.

I bought the Orange one for myself and it is similar to my other gaming jerseys so if you want it to last a long time just air dry it to keep the numbers from peeling off , and go easy on the fabric softener (it can spoil the colors of the sleeves) when washing.

With how quickly sizes are shrinking from Fanatics’ bookstore and inventory, it looks like these jerseys are a big hit. I would expect this to only help Cuse’s case for alternative jersey sales in the future as well.

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