Nike suits up NCAA Basketball Teams

After enduring five months of intense competition, today’s elite collegiate basketball players are battle tested. With the style of play evolving each season, Nike is introducing a 360 degree approach complete with new base layer apparel, unique uniforms and customized footwear. This approach meets the evolving needs for players demanding superior performance with a distinct look.

Nike Pro Combat Introduced

As the leader in base layer apparel innovation, Nike will outfit Duke University, Gonzaga University, The University of Memphis, Michigan State University and University of Oregon in customized Nike Pro Combat. Nike Pro Combat is ergonomically designed to provide basketball-specific protective padding without restricting mobility on the court for maximum performance.

“College basketball is a tremendously quick and physical game, and Nike is committed to giving student athletes the best gear for battle,” said Nike Sport Apparel and Innovation Creative Director Todd Van Horne. “Nike Pro Combat reflects the evolution of the game and provides our college teams with quality base layer apparel they need for their tournament runs in March.”

The Nike Pro Combat Deflex short provides padding over the hip and thigh, and the Nike Pro Combat Deflex elbow pad provides superior protection. Both the shorts and sleeve will showcase vibrant team colors for each of the aforementioned schools. Nike is unveiling this special edition Nike Pro Combat visual color scheme that is custom designed for each school beginning for their conference tournament.

Uniforms Evolve in March

For the first time ever, these five schools will also wear distinct Aerographic jerseys during their respective conference tournaments and run for the national championship. Using Nike Aerographic technology, an engineered mesh providing zoned cooling and dramatically reducing the fabric density, the weight of the jersey is reduced by 31 percent compared to current uniforms.

"Our new Aerographic jerseys combine superior fabrics and breakthrough graphics for a look we’re excited to bring to college hoops during the tournament frenzy," said Eric Lautenbach, Nike, Inc. Director of College Basketball.

The Aerographic jerseys debuted on the USA Senior National Team during the 2008 Olympic Games. An exclusively designed "We the People" graphic, inspired by USA's rich history, was showcased on the back of the jersey.

The five NCAA team jerseys are designed to reflect the unique identity of each university. These design patterns allow more ventilation in the burn-out mesh application.

Duke University: With gothic architectural inspiration, this design was inspired by the Duke Chapel, a major campus icon that speaks to the heritage of the university. It also includes a rendition of the original Duke crest. Duke will be wearing this jersey in conference tournament action.

Gonzaga University: The spiked collar of Gonzaga’s bulldog mascot inspired the circular spiked design while the school’s commitment to rise to the occasion led to a symbol of prosperity running vertically at the top. “Go Zags” is the design’s centerpiece.

The University of Memphis: Dynamic tiger stripes representing the boldness of the mascot inspire this jersey design. The team’s “refuse to lose” quote is abbreviated and included at the center of this design.

Michigan State University: Spartan battle armor inspired the dynamic pattern running throughout this jersey while the Michigan State logo forms the foundation. An ancient Greek shield design surrounds the Michigan State logo.

University of Oregon: Grid pattern detail throughout represents the trusses in the roof on U of O’s Mac Court while the beams of the roof run vertically. The iconic Oregon “O” is the design’s centerpiece.

Custom Designed Hyperdunks Unveiled

To bring the look full circle, each of these five teams went from the backboard to the drawing board by joining NIKEiD for one-of-a-kind shoe design sessions. The student athletes worked closely with NIKEiD designers to create a look that captures the essence of their program.

The Nike Hyperdunk has ushered in a new era of superior, lightweight design. Featuring Flywire, a performance architecture that uses thin and very strong nylon fibers to support the foot, the Hyperdunk is a favorite shoe among Nike’s college teams.

This NIKEiD design sessions marked the first time Nike allowed collegiate teams total control over customizing their own team basketball shoes. The design potential was extensive, and players showcased their creativity and team identity. Fans of each school can replicate their team’s design beginning March 10 at

Jonathan Horton Signs Endorsement Agreement with GK Elite Sportswear

GK Elite Sportswear, L.P., the most recognized manufacturer of gymnastics apparel in the world, announces an athlete representation agreement with American Olympic Champion Jonathan Horton.

Jonathan Horton proved himself to be the most dominant force in Men's Gymnastics in the US last summer at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Jonathan earned a Silver medal on his signature routine, the high bar, as well as a Bronze medal with his fellow USA team mates in the team competition.

This agreement is designed to help Horton continue to develop his skills as one of the premier male gymnasts in America today.

"GK has been outfitting top athletes since 1989," said GK Elite President and founder Sallie Weaver. "Jonathan is certainly one of the most recognized and most promising athletes in U.S. Men's gymnastics today."

"Medaling in Beijing this year at the Olympics was a dream come true," remarked Horton. "I have always chosen to compete in GK. The fit of the apparel is so important to my performance and wearing GK gives me one less thing to be concerned about! I am so proud to endorse a company who truly cares about the athletes and demonstrates genuine concern for their performance and needs"

GK is the world's leading supplier of gymnastics apparel and is recognized around the world for superior variety, quality, fit and service. GK is proud to have been chosen by adidas® to manufacture the US National Team Competitive apparel for USA Gymnastics since 2000 and is the sole producer of adidas® brand gymnastics apparel in the USA. Based in Reading, Pennsylvania, Elite Sportswear, L.P., the company behind the GK brand, continues its commitment to American-made quality and continuous innovation in designs for Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Dance, and Drill Team apparel. For more information about GK Elite visit or contact Andrew Foss at 610-921-1469.

For more information on Jonathan Horton visit

Lands' End launches sun-protective clothing line

Retailer Lands’ End is launching a new line of sun-protective clothing in response to customer concerns about the effects of the sun on their skin and health.

The Sun.Life line targets the entire family with an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating of 30 or 50 - which blocks 96.7% or 97.5% of the sun's harmful UV rays respectively.

"Sun.Life is something our customers asked us for, simply because they were worried about what the sun was doing to their skin while they were enjoying outdoor activities with their families," said Alan Kirk, senior vice president of global sourcing for Lands' End.

The collection also includes breathability, wicking and antimicrobial features, but has been styled in bright colours and patterns along with cotton-rich fabric blends so that they look like normal, everyday clothes.

"The biggest benefit to our customers is that the Sun.Life collection offers all the functional benefits normally found in true camping or hiking gear, but can now be found in regular, comfortable styles that can be worn every day, all day long," Kirk added.

Maria Sharapova in Cole Haan spring ads

Maria Sharapova is the new lead collaborator and face of Cole Haan Sporting, a new clothing collection for Spring 2009, rooted in sport and remixed with fashion.

The Spring 2009 global launch of Cole Haan Sporting includes men’s and women’s footwear and accessories, and features the three-time Grand Slam champion.

Cole Haan Sporting stakes out fresh territory with a new, dynamic pairing of Cole Haan’s authentic craftsmanship and Nike’s sports innovation. The collection introduces new technologies like Flywire which build on the successful Nike Air franchise by recasting them into fashion-forward designs.

This lifestyle fashion collection will encompass day to evening silhouettes in both the footwear and accessories categories.

“Maria Sharapova embodies the blend of fashion and sport that makes Cole Haan Sporting unique,” said Cole Haan Chief Executive Officer James Seuss. “We created this collection as the foundation to a dynamic lifestyle - weaving Cole Haan’s history of craftsmanship with Nike’s tradition of high-performance innovation.”

Maria Sharapova, 21, is a former world number one who has a longstanding passion for style. She will step into the role of collaborator for the Fall 2009 season.

“Cole Haan Sporting proves that fashion and technology can work together to change the way women think about and wear sport-inspired product,” said Sharapova. “I look forward to working with Cole Haan to bring new innovations to this leading fashion brand with such a rich history.”

For Spring 2009, Cole Haan Sporting will embody sport style with a collection inspired by nautical, court, track, and golf. The women’s footwear collection includes elevated wedges, chic flats and sleek sandals. Signature men’s styles include the brand’s iconic boat shoe and edgy lace-ups in bold color palettes paired with classic neutrals.

This new collection will continue to showcase Nike Air, an innovation that has enabled Cole Haan to redefine luxurious style and comfort. Outside, the styles are pure Cole Haan, luxurious and fashion-forward; inside, they share Nike’s innovative technology that debuted in Beijing.

The accessory collection encompasses a range of silhouettes from a tennis racquet bag to a versatile duffle. Continuing to weave style with innovation, the accessories will be created from recycled plastic bottles and will be trimmed in vegetable chrome-free leather.

High-tech snow wear warm, safe, stylish

In the minus5 Ice Lounge at the Mandalay Bay, a dozen or so people, most of them attendees at the annual SnowSports Industries America trade show last week in Las Vegas, are standing around a bar made of solid ice, sipping vodka from tumblers carved from ice. No one's brave enough to sit on the ice sofas.

Still, in spite of the sub-zero temperature, the guests are feeling toasty because they're wearing Mountain Hardwear jackets and vests with individual Ardica heat packs tucked inside.

Battery-powered, rechargeable and weighing less than a pound, the packs provide on-demand heat for up to eight hours. Several of the Ice Lounge testers said they could see the portable heaters coming in handy during ski trips and other on-snow activities. (Another 200 people are demo-ing the jackets in noncocktail-fueled settings around the country, according to Hap Klopp, Ardica's sales director, who was the CEO and founder of North Face.)

The Ardica-Mountain Hardwear collaboration was one of thousands of products making their debut at the annual SIA show last week. Next year, the show moves to Denver.

The items ordered here by retailers will be in stores this fall. Apparel accounted for more than 40 percent of the $1.875 billion spent in the snow sports market from August to December of 2008, according to SIA research.

While sales were down 3 percent, the category did better than the rest of the retail industry. Snowboard clothing, shell parkas, fleece and one-piece suits showed increases in sales, as did such accessories as hats and gloves.

Fashion is always a high point of SIA, and the trade show kicked off with a snow style preview on mannequins from 28 manufacturers.

A quick look at the trends and it was clear that bright colors and printed fabrics will continue to make a statement on the slopes. But beyond all the neon shades and profusion of patterns, there was an increased focus on safety and function; more options in wearable technology; an emphasis on eco-friendly fabrics and manufacturing methods; and a blurring between what to wear on the slopes and on the street.

Here are some highlights:

Avalanche awareness: A number of outerwear lines now feature reflective patches from Recco. Designed as an additional tool to help search-and- rescue teams reach avalanche victims quickly, Recco detectors use harmonic radar to track signals sent by beacons and Recco reflectors. The company's new handheld detector can reduce the time it takes search and rescue crews to locate people trapped in snow.

Reflectors about the size of a small Band-Aid are being used by companies like Italian-based Bailo, which is putting them on jackets designs. Other manufacturers are adding reflectors to helmets, protection gear and even boots.

The company's website says the Recco system is being used by more than 600 search-and-rescue organizations worldwide, including those in such Colorado resorts as Keystone, Vail and Telluride.

Stand out guys: It didn't seem like too long ago when snowboard clothing had to be earth-toned and drab to be cool. Then the neon revolution occurred and all was bright in the terrain park. That continues, with clothes for male riders showing innovation in both design and fabrics. We liked the flocked velvet feel of Burton's men's multicolored jacket and Armada's new outerwear line. In both: lime green pants for guys who crave attention.

Snowboarding's "It" girl: Gretchen Bleiler's second collection of snow wear and lifestyle clothing for Oakley continues to be some of the sweetest design on the mountain.

Her fans will like such details as a little chain on a chest pocket, signature lion-motif buttons and a hip-length belt on the Mane jacket; her slouchy beanies; color combos like olive and purple; and environmentally friendly pieces like the Eco Storm jacket, made of recycled fabric, and tops made of organic cotton and bamboo.

Bleiler also has her own lip balm. Mission Product Skincare has come out with athlete-endorsed lip and skin care products and Bleiler's Sweet Vanilla flavored balm with SPF 15 is among the newest. (Also check out Melo Mint, named for Carmelo Anthony.) The products, $3.99, are sold at GNC, Foot Locker and Lady Foot Locker stores, among others.

Wearable technology: Being able to change playlists on your iPod, grab a phone call or turn up the heat in your jacket with a touch of a gloved hand to a keypad on your coat is becoming more prevalent and more affordable. Skullcandy teamed up with Sessions to provide tunes integrated to its Metallica jacket, $320.

Glove story: Women's hands get colder than men's, which is why Level Gloves created the Bliss collection. The line is designed in a shape which leaves more room for air to circulate, and materials include Gore-Tex breathable, waterproof membranes, and Primaloft isulation that's thick but lightweight.

Green: Taking cues from ready-to-wear, snow sports clothing is getting more eco-friendly. Obermeyer is using recycled polyester twill fabrics in some of its men's jackets, as well as fabrics in Encore, a woven polyester twill made of 48 percent recycled polyester. The company's eTEX Finley layering piece is made from a bamboo-polyester blend.

He thinks my helmet's sexy: Guys might want a macho- looking helmet, but women like things a little more girly, which is why Carrera's flower-bedecked model is sure to cause some double-takes. Other helmets with such feminine details as crystal trim and patterned chin flaps show that the headcovers can be both functional and feminine. Novelty motifs were also show by Nutcase, which did a plaid design and crazeeHeads, which showed whimsical cartoon-inspired helmet covers for kids.

Socks appeal: Socks don't get the credit they deserve for keeping feet warm and dry inside ski and snowboard boots. Manufacturers like EuroSocks have feet covered with Digits Silver Ski Socks, $34, an anatomically correct design made from antimicrobial fibers designed to keep feet odor- and bacteria-free. Labeled with a R or L for right and left so you get them on the correct feet, the socks have padded foot beds, elasticized arch suppport and padded heel cups.

Details, details: It's the little things that set outerwear apart for next season. Quilting — often multiple types on a single jacket, as shown by Skea — belts, grommets and studs and unusual snap treatments are among the ones that caught our eye. Asymmetrical zipper placement, form-fitting silhouettes and contrast printed linings are other things appearing in numerous lines.

Apres ski: When you look good on the mountain all day, there's no need to leave that style behind after the lifts close. Unadorned Uggs don't hold a candle to Australia Love Collective's line of sheepskin boots trimmed in fox fur and chains, ribbons and laces, $225-$425.

If funky is more your style, Rubber Duck has a full line of snow joggers and warm nylon boots. Some are a little "Napoleon Dynamite," others are plaid or in shiny finishes, $90 to $120.

Layered effect: Sure you can pull on any old turtleneck, but why not make the piece you wear under your parka more interesting? Boulder-based Neve's Prima Belle collection of knits is in a silk-merino wool and Lyrcra blend and features retro ski motifs, animal prints and polka dots, $80-$120.

Blue Breeze Odor-Eliminating Sportswear

Active sports and fitness programs involve lots of good, healthy perspiration, but odors are not welcome in most social situations. Applying chemicals to the skin can cause irritation and block natural pathways for the body’s cooling and cleansing systems. The quandary; “work out -- or smell clean?”

A brand-new odor-eliminating technology from Japan solves that dilemma. Blue Breeze t-shirts, socks, sportswear and towels let the active person work out without worry as the natural cotton fibers wick away sweat and neutralize elements that cause what is often termed “body odor.”

“Sweat is actually odorless,” explains Blue Breeze Arnold Yoshida, President of FMJ USA Corporation. “Bacteria on the skin react with sweat, creating sour or ammonia-type odorants. Blue Breeze neutralizes those substances, rendering the sweat odorless once more.”

Blue Breeze t-shirts, socks and headbands and caps keep expensive sports gear in tip-top condition by preventing odor formation. At the same time, skin stays healthier with the slightly acidic pH of Blue Breeze fibers—the optimum environment for human skin—preventing rashes, infections and even unattractive sock imprints on the legs.

Dancers love the freedom they have with Blue Breeze. “Feet are so important,” choreographer Lan Lee asserts. “For a dancer, being able to keep the feet warm, dry and comfortable can mean the difference between dancing your best or dancing in pain. Blue Breeze socks keep feet and dance shoes in top shape. And using the Blue Breeze sweat bands and towels lets the dancer stay fresh even during intense periods of training and performing.”

Blue Breeze caps help keep protective headgear odor-free. Football, baseball and hockey players, competitive equestrians, cyclists and motor sports enthusiasts spend long periods in hard helmets under grueling stressful conditions. Blue Breeze comfortable skullcaps keep sweat—and odors—away, letting the player focus on more important goals.

After hard physical exercise, Blue Breeze towels and washcloths are perfect for cleanup, but also keep locker and sports bags fresh-smelling. And to revive the fabric’s odor-eliminating power, just toss it into the washer and dryer, with a normal wash. It keeps working--virtually forever.

Blue Breeze products work naturally, reducing dependence on chemicals and cleansers that can harm the skin and respiratory system as well as the environment. Also, they free up busy professionals who can now grab a workout during the day and return to work smelling and feeling great.

Winter sports are even more enjoyable with Blue Breeze accessories. Ski boots, skates and even the high-fashion boots worn in and out of doors stay in pristine condition with Blue Breeze socks. And the headband and cap keeps ears and head warm on the slopes, even as they keep skin and hair odor-free.

Blue Breeze products are an investment in one’s health, allowing users to pursue fitness training in confidence, eliminating odors without any harsh chemicals. Feel great—and smell wonderful—secure in the knowledge that your active lifestyle doesn’t create pungent odors, and your sports equipment is just as fresh as you are.

For more information about Blue Breeze products, check the website:

Jerseys: a fashion must for both ladies and gents

With the Super Bowl drawing near, Penn State students are getting ready to gear up and represent their team of choice.

Jerseys have pervaded every aspect of fashion. From Beaver Stadium to the Marc Jacobs runway, the sporty style makes a bold statement about what you stand for and which team you support.

There are many aspects that are important to consider when buying a jersey, such as the size, style and player number.

"One of the biggest things about buying a jersey is buying it one size bigger so that people can layer under it," Matt Germino, sales floor manager of The Family Clothesline, 352 E. College Ave., said. "That way it's not rendered totally useless when it's cold."

The player's number is also important when buying a jersey. Although the NCAA doesn't permit colleges to print players' names on the back, people choose numbers based on players' statistics and years of eligibility, Germino said.

Men's jerseys are typically made larger and roomier so if girls don't buy jerseys tailored to women, they usually buy youth jerseys that are slimmer and shorter to fit better, said Glenn Barker, sales associate at Rapid Transit, 115 S. Allen St.

"You can make jerseys whatever you want them to be," Gabriella Griffith (freshman-civil engineering) said. "I'm a real girly girl so if it's warm out I like to wear my jersey with a jean skirt or colored shorts, but if it's cold I usually just wear jeans and a long-sleeve shirt underneath."

It's important to look at the brand of the jersey, because Alex Cohen (sophomore-marketing), a member of Paternoville and Nittany Nation, said not all jerseys are made equal.

"Jerseys are important because it's the most recognized symbol of your team," Cohen said. "When I am going to buy a jersey I look for one that has a specific meaning to me, like the Rose Bowl patch, because of what it signifies."

Besides the significance of patches, price is also an important factor.

Sports jerseys are expensive depending on how authentic they are, but fans are willing to dish out the money to wear something the players are wearing, Cohen said.

"I tend to buy more expensive jerseys for the teams I care more about," Alyssa Dilsaver (sophomore-engineering) said. "My Penn State jersey was expensive but my Eagles jersey was pretty cheap."