Fans looking to purchase new Ohio State football jerseys for the upcoming season will have two jersey options to choose from at Nike apparel-approved retailers: No. 1 and No. 15.
Rick Van Brimmer, assistant vice president for Affinity Trademark Management, said that it is merely a coincidence that two team standouts in redshirt senior quarterback/H-back Braxton Miller (1) and junior running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) sport the two number choices that are represented.
According to Van Brimmer, the decision to make those two numbers available to fans is because annually No. 1 is the most popular jersey number and No. 15 represents the upcoming 2015 football season.
Van Brimmer said the decision came about after an internal meeting from peer institutions.
“Given the current climate around use of players’ names and likeness, this seemed to fit philosophically with where we want to be,” Van Brimmer said. “Fans can still get any number they choose through our custom jersey program at the stadium and online at our official team shop, as long as they include their (own) name on the jersey.”
Carter Marsch, a second-year in communication, said he approves of the decision to represent the year and the potential national championship awaiting the team at the end of the season, but he also realizes the problem with teams using players’ jersey numbers for profit.
“There’s always been problems with representing students and making money off of them, and what the football team can bring in, compared to what the students make,” Marsch said. “I think that this is a good way to kind of cancel that out, almost.”
Van Brimmer said some stores may have carryover stock from last year still available for a limited time.
Kathy Smith, general manager at the Barnes & Noble in the South Campus Gateway, said her store was already clearing out last year’s inventory before the announcement came out.
Smith said her store still has some of last year’s No. 5 jerseys — the number formerly worn by Miller — on clearance right now.
“If (customers) are looking for any other numbers besides 1 and 15, then they can come in and look at what we have on clearance,” Smith said.
Smith mentioned that a rivalry game jersey will be made available later this year as well, but she could not provide the details on those yet, as they have not been officially released.
The new OSU jerseys are available in two styles, game and limited, and range from $90 to $135 on the Nike website.