WATCH: UCF Knights to pay homage to the space industry with alternative ‘Mission V: Discovery’ uniforms

Special uniforms pay homage to 40th anniversary of shuttle program

LOOK: The UCF Knights football team will pay tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Shuttle program with the new alternate “Mission V: Discovery” uniforms against Memphis on October 22.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – The UCF Knights football team will pay tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Shuttle program with the new alternate “Mission V: Discovery” uniforms against Memphis on October 22.

So, now, welcome to the 21st century.

The October 22 game against Memphis offers the final wrinkle of the “Space Game” – and, boy, are those Nike design cues a far cry from those old traditional football threads worn by the Knights.

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“Under (former UCF head coach 2004-2015) George O’Leary, we mostly wore gold jerseys at home with white pants,” says Eric DeSalvo, UCF assistant director of sports for # content (he runs all of the Knights’ football social media accounts).

“On the road, it was white jerseys with gold or white pants. Still the same helmet: the UCF logo stacked on top of a white helmet and a wide band in the middle that was gold with black.

Five years ago, UCF decided to change their approach to their football match uniforms as part of a comprehensive rebranding exercise – and the results have turned the Knights’ weekly clothing ads into a television staple. .

The UCF Equipment Room now has its own Twitter account, from which it officially “announces” what combination of uniforms the Knights will wear each weekend.

“We’re looking at what we’ve done in the past and trying to do something different. Sometimes I get feedback from players or other people in the department, ”says Worner.

“I usually create a spreadsheet in the summer for games, but we’re not locked into that. We always make the decisions week after week.

Every year since 2017, the Central Florida football team has worn uniforms that honor the school’s support for the US space program. (Image of the UCF Knights)

“We want to make sure that we don’t end up wearing pants or helmets that are the same color as our opponent, just in case they make a late change.

“So there’s not always a lot of science behind it – some of it is just common sense.

“And we want to be able to take advantage of whatever combinations we have to help promote this aspect of the UCF brand. “
DeSalvo adds, “Rich asked if he could get a Twitter account on UCF gear, so we revealed it the day we launched the uniforms (May 5, 2016). People were like, “Whoa, we have a Twitter account on the equipment now?” “

“But we knew people would be intrigued to see what we would wear week to week because we had all of these options now.”

All of the different combinations also allow UCF’s marketing team to coordinate recommendations on what colors fans should wear. .

“Each week, our team created a graphic model in which we plugged the helmet, jersey and pants. (Former UCF designer) Carlos Phillips made every possible combination, so we just plugged in what Rich told us it would be week after week.

“We still use these same models – we just updated the jersey to number 19 to signify the year. When it comes to a new combo, we’ll be using computer animation. Sometimes we’ll mix it up and use a uniform template and add a short video. In other games, it’s just the standard graphic that comes out around two o’clock every Thursday afternoon.

“It (the uniform announcement) gets really good engagement: one or two hundred retweets, 500 or 600 likes.

“Lots of quote tweets with people sharing their fashion tips – some good, some bad, some pretty funny stuff.

“Then we also share it on Instagram and Facebook and a lot of comments come from it. It’s something people look forward to – people generally seem to like it.

The new uniform plans also gave UCF a reason for a throwback, once a year, retro homage to its early years – the late 1960s, when UCF’s unofficial mascot was the Citroën, a nod to both the Florida citrus industry and the university’s connection to NASA and the space program. (Image of the UCF Knights)

The new uniform plans also gave UCF a reason for a throwback, once a year, retro homage to its early years – the late 1960s, when UCF’s unofficial mascot was the Citroën, a nod to both the Florida citrus industry and the university’s connection to NASA and the space program.

For the fifth year in a row in 2021, the Knights’ Oct. 22 game against Memphis, UCF will wear a specially designed full uniform (helmet included) dedicated to this space connection.

The official theme this year is “Mission V: Discovery”, a tribute to 40 years of the shuttle program. Each season’s “Space Game” uniforms are the result of a full year of collaboration between Nike, Worner and UCF’s athletics marketing teams, led by Jimmy Skiles, associate director of athletics for the development of the team. Mark.

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