Under Armour founder Kevin Plank played football as a walk-on at University of Maryland. It was on the College Park football fields that his billion dollar (literally) idea—sweat-wicking T-shirts—was born. The company he founded in 1996 has outgrown its original basement headquarters, but never forgotten its roots in Terrapin football. For the past few seasons, special edition "Pride" uniforms have helped push both the brand the program's profile.
Today, Under Armour unveils its most technically advanced and graphically charged football uniform to date. Dubbed Maryland Pride 2.0, the uniform was inspired by the flag billowing above Maryland's Bryd Stadium and celebrates the its four quadrants. A game-changing individually artist numbered helmet pushes the whole design forward.
"We want to evolve Maryland pride," said Adam Clement, Under Armour's senior design manager. "The first Maryland pride uniforms were static, the flag was flat, we wanted to bring motion. This is the GT version of Maryland Pride."
For Pride 2.0, the helmet is the big statement. The idea is to go in a completely different direction than the current chrome trend. Clement, an avid hockey player, looked at his own goalie equipment and found a stroke of genius. The individually numbered helmets the Terrapins will wear this weekend were produced in a fashion similar to a decorative goalie mask. "We engaged a local artist," said Clement, "and over the course of twelve months were able to perfect the process of hand-painted helmets for the University of Maryland."
Check out the painting process:
The wave, and shawdow, give it a motocycle paint job sense of movement and promote excitment around the state flag. Maryland is emblazoned large across the back.
"This is the first time this uniform will hit the field in competition," said Clement. "The key is that most fabrics in a football uniform are a mesh or stretch knit, this is a non-stretch, rip-stop which makes the player nearly impossible to grab."
The non-stretch fabric, utilized on the back and chest panel, is called Armourgrid. It first debuted for Under Armour with the Welsh Rugby Union, and is now transfered to the football field. Thanks to tweaks in production, like the employment of single-layer tackle twill numbers, it is also substantially lighter than any football uniform on the field. Or as Clement claims, "light as a feather, strong as a bull."
Fun additional fact: This is Maryland's first Pride uniform produced in red. The Terrapins will debut the Under Armour Armourgrid Pride 2.0 uniform this Saturday against West Virginia.