Every year since GM Rick Spielman joined the club in 2007 (back then as VP of Player Personnel), the Vikings have held a “Top 30 visit,” in which 30 prospects in the upcoming draft are invited to Winter Park over the course of two days. This year’s visit is occurring as we speak, and we mention it here because it’s the most recent significant event in the build up to the 2012 NFL Draft.
While it’s titled the “Top 30 visit,” the athletes invited are not necessarily the best 30 prospects on the Vikings draft board. Rather, the 30 athletes at Winter Park are a collection of 30 prospects that, for whatever reason, the Vikings personnel and coaching staffs want to see up close and personal another time. This year, though, with the Vikings slated to pick 3rd overall, the guest list includes plenty of blue-chip players.
For sensitivity reasons, we won’t list the 30 players who’ve arrived at Winter Park. If the Vikings wanted people to know who was present at the Top 30 visit, they’d publish the names. But it’s worth noting on the vikings.com Blog that Spielman, Head Coach Leslie Frazier and the Vikings entire personnel and coaching staff are hard at work trying to evaluate this year’s draft class in what will surely be a pivotal draft for the Vikings as they try to re-build this roster.
Tags: Leslie Frazier, Rick Spielman
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 110 Comments »
Nike has a reputation for high performance worthy of championship-caliber athlete endorsement, popular style and a dominating presence on the market. It should come as no surprise, then, that their NFL uniform and apparel unveiling presentation on Tuesday in New York was nothing short of sensational.
Upon arrival at Steiner Studios, those of us in attendance were funneled into the building and were greeted by a display of each NFL team’s branded Nike Vapor Jet Men’s 2.0 Gloves.
After viewing the display, I walked into a large display room that had a bank of manikins dedicated to each team. The manikins were adorned in each team’s apparel, which will be available to both players and fans.
After about 20 minutes of snapping photos and sending tweets, Nike ushered all of us into an actual studio, which was appropriately decorated. We sat in bleachers, just as you would at a high school or college football game, and the stage floor was synthetic football turf, complete with yard-line markers. Behind the stage was an enormous, high definition television screen that Nike would use to enhance the program.
A bevy of speakers addressed us, including President of Nike Brand Charlie Denson, Nike Creative Director Todd Van Horne, Nike executive Mark Parker and other members of Nike’s creative design team. Denson proclaimed that Nike would “continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” and then welcomed NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to the stage. Goodell said Nike and the NFL share “a belief in better.”
Van Horne described several tactics that Nike used to perfect their product, including “sweat mapping” to ensure the material kept the players cool during performance.
NFL players Victor Cruz (NY Giants WR) and Kam Chancellor (Seattle Seahawks safety) also spoke, endorsing the new uniforms and performance gear. Cruz said that the top attribute he covets in a uniform is comfort, and that the new Nike uniforms provide that.
Finally, players from each team were brought out to model the new uniforms. The Vikings player representative was WR Percy Harvin, who wore the jersey well. Because of our vantage point, it was hard to get a close picture of Harvin in the new uniform, but the good news is I have a meeting with Harvin at some point before 1:00 p.m. ET, and at that point I will snap more photos and pass them along when possible.
That’s the quick update for now. A great show put on by Nike and the NFL, which should not surprise us. The basic takeaway here is that NFL players will enjoy premium and improved performance from the new gear, and NFL fans will enjoy cutting-edge style that does not infringe upon the traditional and iconic look of the NFL and its 32 franchises.
More later, so stay tuned to vikings.com, the vikings.com Blog, the Vikings official Facebook page and Twitter (@wobby).
Tags: Nike Uniform Unveil
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 96 Comments »
It’s another beautiful day here in NYC, and I’m getting set to head to the Nike NFL Launch event later this morning. At about 11:00 a.m. ET, the event will begin and the new NFL design will be officially unveiled.
You’ve probably already had a glance at the apparel line right here on vikings.com, but more information will be released later this morning and the actual jerseys each team will wear will soon be revealed. I’ll be providing updates when I can throughout the day, including photos and tweets from the event.
You can follow the Vikings (@VikingsFootball) and me (@wobby) on Twitter, plus we’ll be posting things to both vikings.com and on the Vikings official Facebook page. Stay tuned, more info coming this morning and later today.
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 64 Comments »