Ole Miss, Realtree partner on football helmet, exclusive gear
Rebels to wear custom helmet against Kentucky Saturday
In one of college football’s marquee games of the week, Ole Miss will host Kentucky on Saturday when the Rebels will sport an exclusive helmet showcasing a custom color scheme from the camo experts at Realtree.
In addition, the Rebels’ game day wardrobe will include exciting new gear that features the Realtree design. The hoodies and Nike tees are available through Ole Miss Authentics, the official team shop of Ole Miss Athletics operated by Dyehard Fan Supply, and may be purchased now at shop.olemisssports.com, at the Oxford store on Jackson Avenue and on Saturday at stadium and campus locations, including a special Realtree trailer located in the west plaza.
The collaboration between Rebel Athletics and Realtree has been in the works for several months and has deep roots in the Ole Miss family. Realtree founder, CEO and Ole Miss alum Bill Jordan played wide receiver for the Rebels in the early 1970s and has stayed connected to the program. The Jordan family’s name is featured on the Manning Center indoor field.
Jordan surfaced the helmet concept with his team as they were reviewing various programs tied to lifestyle apparel, athleisurewear and sporting goods products with licensees, including Nike. The helmet will feature a custom color adaptation, using Realtree’s pattern WAV3, that will dynamically tie in with the Ole Miss on-field uniforms and school colors.
“Most people that know our team here at Realtree know we’re all big sports fans and college football consumes lots of our small talk around the office” Jordan said. “Of course, Ole Miss and the football team hold a special place in my heart as an alum and former player. As we reviewed some of our key Realtree programs and licensed products for this fall, the idea sort of just hit us – what if we offered Ole Miss a Realtree pattern that the team could consider matching their football uniforms for use on the helmet?”
With the idea in mind, discussions were promptly advanced with Ole Miss athletics leadership, including Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter and head football coach Lane Kiffin.
“We loved this idea from the minute we heard about it,” Carter said. “Today’s environment around lead times for any sort of equipment has presented challenges, but teamwork between the Realtree team and our athletics staff has been tremendous. Everyone, including head coach Lane Kiffin and our student-athletes, was determined, excited and eager to see this concept become reality, and we’re thrilled to launch the partnership and see how it grows in the years ahead. Our players will take the field Saturday wearing an exclusive helmet that will turn heads and generate excitement amongst our students, alumni and fans.”
“Our players and coaches are excited to partner with Realtree and wear this unique new helmet and gear,” Kiffin said. “I appreciate Bill, Tyler and the entire Realtree team for all they have done and continue to do for our program. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this great collaboration.”
Accompanying the on-field helmets will be Realtree branded chin straps. Additionally, the Nike apparel will be unveiled to include the Realtree pattern across an assortment of Ole Miss short sleeve and long sleeve shirts. Long sleeve Ole Miss X Realtree hoodies have also been released for the game. The apparel is available exclusively through Ole Miss Authentics, which is powered by Dyehard Fan Supply.
“This is going to be pretty special for us,” said Realtree’s Strategic Business Director and Ole Miss graduate Tyler Jordan. “I’ve grown up watching games, tailgating in The Grove and attended school here at Ole Miss. My dad played here, and it is cool to sit back and see how things come full circle when we think about the fact that he used to wear the Ole Miss uniform when he played, and now we have an opportunity to see the company he founded represented on the helmets, which look incredibly cool.”
Kickoff between No. 11 Ole Miss and No. 7 Kentucky is set for 11 a.m. CT at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. A limited number of tickets remain available at www.olemisstix.com.