Colorado State football made national headlines this weekend with the release of its new Colorado-themed alternate uniforms. The new look is called “State Your Pride” and features an all-white uniform with Colorado flags on both the shoulders and helmet.
The new alternate look received overwhelmingly positive reviews from fans around the country, and understandably so. The new design is fantastic, an absolute home run for the football program on every level.
First off, the decision to claim the state as their own by designing a Colorado-themed uniform before the University of Colorado was a brilliant marketing decision. In a state where locals love to stamp the state flag on everything, the Colorado brand is incredibly hot right now and the Rams were wise to capitalize on the momentum.
Not to mention, if the Buffs ever want to do a similar design, Ram fans will have the satisfaction of knowing that they were first.
Secondly, while a few traditionalists argued that the uniform should have featured green and gold, I firmly believe that the decision to use state colors was a wise one. The entire point of an alternate uniform is to show off a unique new design, so what is the point of coming out with a new uniform that is essentially the exact same look as the primaries?
I have long argued that both CSU and CU have unique uniforms to begin with, especially when it comes to helmet designs, so the programs do not necessarily need multiple looks. However, I certainly understand that in the modern arms race that is college football, there is definitely a need to market your brand and set your program apart from the pack.
CSU and Under Armour have done a terrific job with this aspect when it comes to the alternate designs. The orange and green Ag Day combo is both unique and purposeful, allowing the Rams to pay homage to the days of Colorado A&M. The all-grey design, which made its debut in the 2016 Wyoming game was also a fresh take for fans.
The “State Your Pride” theme is far and away CSU’s flyest look, though. The red and blue pops with the white, so it is generally just a good looking uniform. The sheer uniqueness of the look was a home run as well.
11.11.17 vs. Boise State. pic.twitter.com/XetYpnd6XI
— CSU Rams Football (@CSUFootball) September 21, 2017
While other schools like Maryland have gone over the top with state-themed threads, CSU designed a uniform that highlights the best aspects of the state flag and still keeps things sleek and simple.
Most importantly, though, the look gives the Rams a chance to truly establish themselves as a household name for college football fans from coast to coast.
Uniforms have become an opportunity for universities to market themselves and connect with fans in ways that never would have been possible just a few decades ago. Programs like Oregon changed the game with the help of Nike. Whether the football purists want to acknowledge it or not, swag matters more than ever.
The Rams raised the bar with the completion of a beautiful new on-campus stadium. Slick new uniforms are the next step to national relevance, especially if the program continues to compete and consistently win games.
I very much look forward to the Nov. 11 matchup with Boise State when the Rams will debut the alternate look. If the response is anything like this weekend, CSU football is going to be right where it wants to be, in the spotlight.
Collegian sports director Justin Michael can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @JustinTMichael.