BRONCOS

New Denver Broncos uniforms unveiled

Apr 22, 2024, 9:02 AM | Updated: 10:14 am

Two helmets.

Three jerseys.

Three sets of pants.

Three styles of socks.

At a minimum, the new Denver Broncos uniforms — unveiled to the public Monday morning via a social-media push through the team’s social- and digital-media channels — are versatile.

The jerseys, pants and socks can be mixed and matched. If including just the jerseys and pants, the Broncos have nine different combinations. If incorporating the socks, they have 27 different possibilities from which to choose.

The new Broncos uniforms are also sleeker, reflecting a trend of most recent uniform re-designs, including those of the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers within the past decade.

Gone are the contrasting side panels on the jerseys that connected to a swoosh going down the side of the pants.

In their place are less-obtrusive pant-stripe patterns that include a subtle “5280” in the stripe and a sleeve-stripe pattern designed to reflect a mountain landscape.

“We wanted a change that felt new,” Broncos president Damani Leech said. “We wanted more than just a slight tweak. We didn’t want something where we released new uniforms and people were really had to feel like they had to do a side-by-side (comparison) to feel like they really understood what we changed.”

Monday’s unveiling culminates a process that began shortly after the Walton-Penner group assumed ownership reins in August 2022. It saw the team survey fans and even consulted with its players.

“One of the things we did pretty pretty early in the fall of 2022 is just ask our fans, so, we got over 10,000 responses from that survey of the fans. The majority of them said, ‘We want new uniforms,'” Leech said.

From the locker room, the word was clear.

‘Players was almost unanimous. Nearly 100 percent of them said, ‘Yes, we want new uniforms,'” Leech said.

“I would just say in general like we have a very passionate fan base and so I’m just really excited to share this with them,” said Hailey Sullivan, the team’s chief marketing officer. “This process has been very deliberate through different markers and milestones. It’s been a fun process. And we’re really just excited to unveil this.”

SAME LOGO AND SAME COLORS, BUT NEW NAMES

Don’t call the Broncos’ blue “navy blue.” The team is officially referring to it as midnight blue.

Orange is now “sunset orange,” which plays off the famous sticker adorned to bumpers in Colorado since time immemorial. And white is referred to as “summit white” as the team leans further into the mountain theme that permeates the new Broncos uniforms.

While the Broncos ditched the look they displayed for their previous 27 seasons, they kept the horse-head helmet logo — although they shrunk it by 15 percent. Certainly, that makes matters easier from a logistical perspective; they won’t have to take down the massive horse-head logos inside and outside the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse, the logo being displayed in the north-end-zone upper-level seats at Empower Field at Mile High, or any of the other myriad representations scattered throughout the team’s headquarters and home stadium.

Leech noted that a “slight majority” of fans wanted to keep the colors and helmet logo.

That decision was an early one, but a major turning point in the design process that began with the first meetings with Nike in January 2023 and extended into this year.

THE DETAILS OF THE NEW BRONCOS UNIFORMS

Helmets:

  • Navy blue and white
  • Horse head logo on both helmets
  • Arrow from the back of the helmet to the crowd, created with small triangles to represent mountain peaks as displayed on topographic maps and summit markers
  • Player number displayed below base of arrow on the back of the helmet
  • “5280” in orange on the front bumper
  • “Broncos” on the rear bumper
  • Navy face mask on the navy helmet, white face mask on the white helmet
  • Metallic satin finish on helmets

“The metallic-satin [finish], you can see it catches your eye from different angles,” Sullivan said. “This metallic satin finish is just for us for the Broncos, so this will be a unique paint, unique finish just for us as well.”

Jerseys:

  • Orange, navy blue and white
  • Orange remains primary jersey; navy is the alternate
  • Sleeve pattern with a “mountain” forming at apex and a jagged rock pattern represented at the bottom
  • No “TV numbers” on the shoulders or sleeves
  • Number font that melds 1997-2023 font with block concepts
  • Triangles as perforation ventilation on numbers that “dissipate” from the bottom of the number to the top
  • Three triangles below the armpits
  • On the inside collar is stitched, “Broncos Country.” Inside-collar branding has become standard operating procedure for most new uniforms in recent years.

The new Broncos uniforms will be the team’s first without numerals on the shoulders or sleeves. This reflects a trend of recent years in which “TV numbers” — once considered mandatory for NFL uniforms — have become more optional as teams try to incorporate sleeve and shoulder elements into the modern, basically sleveless cut for jerseys worn by most players.

“I think that was (because of) the shoulder cap,” Leech said of the lack of TV numbers. “Once we got to that, we sort of fell in love with that.”

Pants and socks:

  • Orange, navy blue and white pants and socks
  • “5280” etched in a lighter shade of blue in the pant stripes

The Broncos have to declare their jersey colors for each game prior to the season. But they don’t have to do so with the pants, so this is where the team can heavily experiment with different combinations — even on short notice.

BUT THE BRONCOS CANNOT WEAR WHITE HELMETS WITH THEIR ORANGE OR WHITE JERSEYS

This is because the NFL has specific rules about the use of an alternate helmet in that it must be paired with an alternate jersey.

Thus, the white helmet can only be worn with the midnight-blue jerseys. The league is less persnickety on pants. Therefore, the Broncos will have the freedom to mix and match those however they choose.

Leech said the team had its plans for a white helmet in motion before the introduction of the white “snowcapped” helmets for the 2023 season. The Broncos wore that helmet — which featured the classic “D” on a white helmet with a white face mask — for games against the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

So, the white helmet will be a permanent part of the Broncos’ ensemble. But now it brandishes the horse-head logo with the triangle pattern.

HOW WILL THE NEW UNIFORMS BE RECEIVED?

Time will tell.

In February 1997, the Broncos unveiled a new uniform template. The initial responses generally ranged from lukewarm to hostile. In the years that followed, opinions softened. But by the mid-2010s, the look considered revolutionary found itself derided as “dated” in many circles.

And one nod to the 1997 redesign was in the process itself.

“Authenticity is really important for us like a program with a strong history, we wanted to be grounded in that rooted in that, but also innovation,” Leech said. “It was great to hear from the Nike folks from just like a pure design standpoint, them talking about what it felt like in ’97, or the ones who weren’t there, how they sort of study uniform history and felt like what we did in ’97 was incredibly innovative.

“And so we still want to do that. We want to try to move the aesthetic forward, move the game forward.”

What’s more, the Broncos hope the new uniforms will help broaden the team’s appeal.

A revived on-field team would go a long way to making that happen, of course. And that’s the goal of the rest of the week as the NFL Draft looms.

But for now, the Broncos believe that they have a look that will at least be aesthetically better, even as the team’s reconstruction continues apace.

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