The Bucs introduced a first with these new unis: reflective chrome borders. (Courtesy of Nike)
Don’t fret, Tampa Bay throwback fans, you finally have a bit of “Bay Orange” in the new Buccaneers’ uniform. But the new look isn’t all historical, with Tampa adding reflective chrome to its modernized numbering, giving the team a bolder shirt and pants to match the helmet already charged with enlarged logo drama.
The Bucs unveiled their new uniform on Monday, deepening the pewter look, brightening their red and adding in -- as a primary trim and accent on both the jersey and the pants -- Bay Orange, the same soft orange popularized in the team’s original “creamsicle” look of the 1970s.
To further match the more dramatic helmet that offers us a deeper pewter, gargantuan logo and chrome facemask, the new Tampa uniform features a first for the NFL: reflective chrome borders around the numbers on the front, back and shoulders. The chrome, according to uniform manufacturer Nike, will increase readability and add “a unique glow to the numbers.” Custom name and number fonts have edging inspired by historical Buccaneer blade carvings.
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The white jersey has pewter sleeves and shoulders with red numbers, while the red jerseys will have pewter sleeves and shoulders with white numbers on the body and red numbers on the shoulders. The two-year redesign project met the goal of providing a “new, bolder identity,” says Bucs’ co-chairman Edward Glazer.
The redesigned wooden ship secondary logo sits on the right shoulder and the abbreviated “BUCS” wordmark is on the left. The “enhanced” -- i.e. larger -- primary flag logo is on both hips of the pewter pants.
Tampa Bay released only one image with the unveil, but added more late in the day. With the slow rollout of the new logos, helmet and uniforms, Tampa Bay joins Seattle, Jacksonville, Miami and Minnesota as teams that have undergone either substantial changes or tweaks to their on-field uniform since Nike took over as the league’s uniform provider in 2012. This time, though, we get a definite first: A taste of Bay Orange with a splash of chrome.
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Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and technology for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.