The handiwork of an eastern Iowa business will be on display Saturday when the football teams from Army and Navy face off outside the nation’s capital. Powers Manufacturing of Waterloo once again produced the uniforms that the teams will wear. Powers Sales Manager, Scott Klieman, says that the company’s relationship with Nike has provided them the chance to make the Army-Navy uniforms.
“We’ve produced the team uniforms at both the institutions for probably the last eight to ten years and through that relationship we’ve developed connections and personal relations with the equipment staff at both of those fine military places,” Klieman says. He says when Nike introduced their new procombat concept with several universities early in the year they approach Army and Navy and asked them to get involved.
Klieman says the schools in turn asked if Powers could be involved and Nike said yes. Klieman says there was a noticeable excitement around the offices when employees found out that Powers would be making the Army-Navy uniforms again this year.
“You could hear people throughout the day when this first broke ‘wow this is gonna be so cool’ or ‘hey did you see that bemis’…no question everybody got jacked up when they saw it and the more it unfolded until just last week when we shipped (the uniforms), it was pretty exciting,” according to Klieman.
Klieman says that the uniforms will employ something that’s brand new. Army and Navy will utilize a new type of fabric called “Tweave” that is super lightweight spandex and nylon that he says has a lot of stretch and durability. They are employing a new lettering and numbering process called “bemis” that he describes as a lightweight plastic film that they heat press and it has a lot of stretch and durability.
Klieman says that some of that new technology will also be utilized when Nike takes over the design of the N.F.L.’s uniforms next year. He notes that Powers is currently in talks to partner with Nike to manufacture some of those N.F.L. uniforms.
By Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls