Personally I am not a fan of the alternate uniforms. I like the traditional looks. I am a fan of flipping onto a game and immediately knowing the teams, not trying to figure out who's playing because I don't recognize the uniforms. Having said that, in the interest of Tech's ability to compete with the top teams, we need to run out alternate uniforms on a regular basis. We aren't a traditional power like Penn State, Alabama or Texas so we can't depend on our traditional looks to carry much weight with recruits these days. So if throwing out some crazy looks will land us better recruits and create some buzz nationally let's do it. Anything is better than sitting through another 4-8 season, am I right? I know some folks will say "I've have never heard a recruit saying they chose a school for their uniforms." I haven't either. However why else would teams, coaches, universities, etc... spend money on them and why are more and more universities wearing alternate uniforms. The answer is a basic marketing 101 term...ROI, return on investment. These schools are seeing a positive impact from spending more money on uniforms. I think it is something to talk with recruits about and could be a tiebreaker in a recruit's mind if they are deciding between two similar schools.
Another reason Tech needs to wear the alternate jerseys is money. The more merchandise they sell the more money the make. College football is an arms race and you need as much as money for arms. That's a pretty simple concept. One things that may go unseen by most is that the brands what teams to wear more uniforms too. Nike, Adidas and UA spent more than $250 million with college football last year. They want to recoup some of those dollars. So again, more uniforms equals more sales for brands.
Again, personally I don't like the alternate uniforms, but this is about Tech competing against schools with more money than they have and trying to do everything they can to win. Tech really doesn't have a choice, they have to wear alternate uniforms.
It's always great on a fall Saturday to flip through the sports channels and watch an out of conference college football game. Maybe you're a Big 10 or SEC fan and see a game going on between a team in gray and a team in black. You see the scoreboard says TTU and BAY. The team in black must be the Red Raiders, but why isn't Baylor playing in green? After you start to watch, you realize that Tech is in gray and Baylor is in black. This doesn't make sense at all. Recognition is a big part of expanding your brand. That's why teams use logos, they're quick and easy for people to identify your team. Uniform color is just as important as team logo for that identification.
Scarlet and Black are both the recognizable colors of the Red Raiders and the official colors of the university. The Double-T logo is just as much a representation of the university and our athletic teams. However, part of the new regime on the football field has been a creativity with our uniforms. There was the almost all white uniform against Oklahoma State that had the hand-drawn image of the Masked Rider on the leg and the side of the helmet. The drawing was awesome up close, but during the game, not many fans knew what it was, let alone spectators that may have been watching. The Wounded Warrior game had helmets that were closer to a maroon-ish color that was way too similar to another school in Texas for my liking. The Lone Star game against Texas this past year had blue in the helmet. BLUE. Yes blue is a prominent color on the state flag, but it is nowhere near a color for Tech. Grey and white are neutral enough to be somewhat ok, but nothing about our beloved RED Raiders says blue.
The classic all-black uniforms commonly worn in the Leach era are still one of the best looking uniforms we have worn in recent years. Our current contract with Under Armour is helping the athletic department with a substantial stipend, and it's always fun to guess what color and design combination might be appearing each week, but I firmly believe the traditional uniforms are better for the university and the program.
Happy Independence Day, Red Raiders