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Third Jersey, Apparel Available For Fans This Summer


Ever since the Packers unveiled the third jersey last month that they will wear for at least one home game this season, the Packers Pro Shop, the team"s official store, has been fielding inquiries from fans that are anxious to share in the celebration of the team"s rich tradition that the jersey represents.

While the exact release date for merchandise related to the third jersey won"t be known until after the NFL finalizes the regular-season schedule, the Packers expect items to be available right around the start of training camp in late July.

"Fans are excited," said Kate Hogan, the Packers director of retail operations. "We"ve got a mannequin in the Pro Shop set up with the uniform on, so people are asking questions about it.

"We"ll be sending out timely messaging to all our fans in a number of ways, including those that called, stopped in or e-mailed us. We"ve got a substantial list of all those fans. We"ll reach out to them."

The third jersey is a re-creation of the Packers" uniform from 1929, the year Green Bay won its first world championship. The jersey is a navy blue with the number on the front inside of a gold circle, with a nameplate and the number on the back. The helmet is a solid brown color without a logo to best simulate the leather helmets worn during that era, while the uniform pants are a tan color.

Since there wasn"t anything particularly noteworthy for the sideline apparel from that 1929 season, the team focused in on the Acme Packers, the nickname of the club in 1921-22, to draw on the first decade of the team"s existence.

"We wanted to give it an old-time, weathered look," Hogan said. "It"s really about picking up the colors and what one would say has a "vintage" feel to it. We really tried to think about what people would like, what they would enjoy. That"s what we try and do. We want to make sure our designs keep in mind what our fans would be looking for."

NFL teams are allowed to have a third jersey that they can wear for up to three games per season (no more than two home games) for a five-year period. Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said last month that the team will wear it for home games only, for one or possibly two games in 2010, with future use to be evaluated.

The Packers first began the process of working toward a third jersey more than a year ago. After first submitting its interest in doing so to the league, the team began to work with the NFL on a couple of different options. Hogan said the league put in a great deal of time and effort to assist the Packers with designs, looking through not only what archives the team had but also those at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Hogan said that two of the designs were historical ones that were re-creations of uniforms worn in the past, while another was what the league refers to as an "alternate color" version. Since Green Bay wears green and white jerseys, that alternate jersey would have been a gold one.

Working with both the team"s administration as well as the football operations headed by General Manager Ted Thompson, Hogan said the focus was on a design that captured the storied history of the organization, a look that should also appeal to fans.

"We felt the historic nature of celebrating the history and tradition of the Packers would be exciting for the organization." Hogan said. "The merchandise is simply a complement of that."

{sportsad300}After Green Bay"s training-camp schedule is confirmed, the team will release the on-sale date for the merchandise, with the Packers eNews subscribers, along with Pro Shop subscribers being the first ones to receive the exclusive news (click here for more information).

The Packers Pro Shop will be the first place fans can buy merchandise as it has an exclusive three-day window, both in the store and online, to sell the merchandise connected to the third jersey, and other retailers also will have the opportunity to buy into the line.

"We looked at what generally are the most popular items or what our fans are looking for in terms of core products," Hogan said. "So T-shirts, hats, jackets, sweatshirts, and jerseys, those are always going to be your top sellers. We made sure that we had a selection of those things for men and women and kids.

"Then we focused on what would make great collectible items. Since we had tested some Acme Packers items in the past, we had a sense of what would be good sellers. We developed the line from there."

Hogan said the collectible piece is expected to include items such as bobblehead dolls, coffee mugs, glassware, and fabric pennants, similar to what is sold to celebrate commemorative-type events. The clothing items will also include some of the apparel that the Packers" coaches and support staff will be wearing on the sideline when the players are sporting the third jersey on the field.

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