The University of Michigan became a Nike school again officially at midnight on Aug. 1 and now, the much-hyped Jumpman football jersey for the 2016 season has been unveiled.
The program is the first of its kind to be completely outfitted by the Jordan brand with the Jumpman logo visible. The jerseys were released Tuesday afternoon at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Downtown Detroit.
They are not a whole lot of changes from last year’s other than brand, obviously. The materials are different. They will also wear matte helmets with the maize wings being glossy. There are also changes to the number font.
Special guests in attendance during the unveiling included head football coach Jim Harbaugh, athletic director Warde Manuel, Heisman Trophy winner and NFL All-Pro Charles Woodson and Jordan Brand President Larry Miller.
From early on at Michigan, Harbaugh knew he wanted the “Swoosh” back at his program.
“Second day on the job I said, ‘I really want to be Nike,’” Harbaugh said. “About a month or two after that my son, Jay, younger guy, 26, 27 years old said, ‘Hey dad, I think we should be Jordan.’ Hey, great idea. It all set into motion.
“Michael Jordan called me on the telephone and said they wanted us to be the first and only football school program in the world to be Jordan, and I said, ‘You had me at hello.’ We’ve been working on this for a very long time. He told me something else I thought was profound, that you know what Nike means to Oregon, you know what Oregon means to Nike, Michigan will mean that to Jordan. That, I thought, was powerful and profound, but he had me at hello on that conversation.”
Woodson was integral in getting the Jumpman logo on to Michigan’s gear, reaching out to Michael Jordan.
"I sent Michael a text and I asked him if I had his blessing to bring this up," Woodson said. "Then I had a conversation with Jim Hackett. We talked it over. He kept an open mind.
"My preference was to go back to Nike. But I thought it'd be even better to have 'Jumpman' with Michigan football. (Hackett) was receptive to it. That got the ball rolling and we took it from there."
Fans looking to add the Jumpman jersey to their collection will have to wait a few days, however. The jerseys will not be available for purchase until Saturday.
Michigan rang in the Nike era on Sunday evening with a welcome rally for the brand outside of The M-Den location in Ann Arbor on State Street on Sunday evening.
Update: Here are more photos from Tuesday’s event.