Ole Miss unveils alternate helmet for top 25 showdown vs. Kentucky

Published 12:28 pm Monday, September 26, 2022

OXFORD — Ole Miss will break out an alternate helmet for its top 25 showdown against Kentucky this weekend.

The Rebels will sport an exclusive helmet showcasing a custom color scheme designed by outdoors apparel manufacturer Realtree. The helmet is based off of Ole Miss’ white helmet, with splashes of light blue splashed throughout.

No. 14 Ole Miss and No. 7 Kentucky play Saturday at 11 a.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford. The game will be televised on ESPN.

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The collaboration between Ole Miss 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 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 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.”

Accompanying the on-field helmets will be Realtree branded chin straps. Additionally, 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 been released for the game. The apparel is available through Ole Miss Authentics.

“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.”