Skip to main content

Denver Broncos | News

An inside look at the Broncos' uniform design process for the 'Mile High Collection'

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The finished product has been revealed.

The Broncos on Monday introduced their new *Mile High Collection*, which features four jerseys, three helmets and 10 possible uniform combinations.

"It's made for Broncos Country," Broncos Chief Marketing Officer Hailey Sullivan said. "We've infused the heart of the fan throughout. Hopefully you've picked up on how purposeful [we were]. We wanted to infuse the fandom throughout — from the helmet to the fabric to every aspect of the jersey to the whole closet. I'm really excited. It's for Broncos Country."

The design process for the team's first new uniforms since 1997, though, may be just as impressive as the finalized threads.

The Broncos began the process nearly immediately after the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group joined the organization, and the team quickly polled its fans for their thoughts on a potential redesign.

More than 10,000 fans were consulted, according to Broncos President Damani Leech, and the majority of fans wanted new uniforms. The Broncos gathered data that showed fans preferred orange as the primary color and that a slight majority preferred the existing logo. Fans also offered their desire for a "classic design with modern elements," according to Leech. The team's players, too, expressed their hopes for new jerseys.

As Denver began the design process with Nike, the Broncos had several nonnegotiables in their wish list. Leech said the team wanted the flexibility to pair each of the three pant colors with each of their primary jerseys. The Broncos also wanted more than a slight tweak to the previous uniform design, and they wanted to add a throwback concept to their existing closet.

Nike began the design process by asking questions about the team's history and what resonated with the market, and an in-person visit to their Beaverton, Oregon headquarters that included Leech, Sullivan and Owner Carrie Walton Penner soon followed.

"Very involved," Leech said of the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group's involvement in the process. "Every meeting. Every Zoom."

Added Sullivan: "[We're] incredibly grateful for our ownership."

Take a look as Broncos players and Miles the Mascot show off the variety of uniform combinations in the team's new Mile High Collection.

In the April 2023 visit that also featured several other team representatives, Nike worked with the Broncos to dive into three core pillars of the uniform design: authenticity, innovation and expansion.

"Authenticity is really important for us," Leech said. "A program with a strong history, [we] wanted to be grounded in that, rooted in that. But also innovation. It was great to hear from the Nike folks from a pure design standpoint, them talking about what it felt like in '97 [for the Broncos' previous redesign]. Or, [for] those who weren't there, how they study uniform history and how it felt like what we did in '97 was incredibly innovative. And so we still want to do that. We want to try to move the aesthetic forward, move the game forward."

And, from an expansion standpoint, the Broncos wanted to help attract the next generation of fan with its new uniform closet.

"We want something that new, young, diverse fan bases say, 'Wow, that's amazing. I want to be a part of that from a fan standpoint. I want to wear that from an apparel standpoint,'" Leech said.

The Broncos made it clear early in the process they wanted to keep their existing logo and colors, but the design still involved a slew of iterations before the team decided on a final concept.

"The number of iterations that we went through was pretty significant," Leech said. "I think we were in the double digits of different things of pants and jerseys and helmets. [Nike said,] 'What do you think about this design? What do you think about that design?' I think what was helpful to hear from them, because it was easy to sort of look at something and say, 'I don't like that jersey.' And they would say, 'Well, don't worry about that. What do you think about that stripe? What do you think about that color? What do you think about that shape? And we can bring that into the next iteration.' And that's how you end up with so many iterations over time."

Both the primary closet and the throwback design feature a number of intentional details, but the use of triangles to indicate elevation and the words "Broncos Country" being stitched inside the collar are among the key design elements.

"Pretty early, we liked that," Leech said of the use of triangles. "Now, where it showed up and all that iterated [was to be decided], but I think we loved the idea of that."

Added Sullivan on the inner-collar stitching: "Broncos Country, they are woven in thread into every one of our jerseys, all four in this closet. One, as a rallying cry to our players. Broncos Country is behind every single player. And two, as a nod to our passionate fan base."

Denver's new uniform — with each nod to Broncos fans and the Mile High region — will be held up this week by the Broncos' first-round pick, and the team will soon wear them in game action. The throwback and alternate jerseys can be worn a combined three times this season, and the Broncos will follow the plan from their alternate helmet rollout to create a year-long celebration of the new uniforms.

"I'm incredibly excited," Leech said. "I think it's a fresh take on our uniforms with this primary set. So it's not a dramatic departure from where we've been. I think we have great colors, great logo, great uniforms.

"It's a refresh that I think is really, really exciting."

Enjoy an in-depth look at some of the details of the Broncos' primary uniform closet.

Related Content