From Purple to Gold

October 22, 2018

On Saturday, the Louisiana State University football team wore an alternate uniform with color-changing helmets to commemorate the “Silent Season” of 1918, when the school did not play football because of World War I.

According to The Advocate, the color changing helmets are the first of their kind. When Greg Stringfellow, Equipment Manager for LSU, asked Nike if it had been done before, he was told that Oregon had tried it once, but the colors had not changed.

The helmets required four coats of paint to achieve the desired effect, and the paint cost $1,500 per gallon. When the helmets are under the lights of Tiger Stadium they shift from purple to gold, thus resembling an iridescent Mardi Gras bead.

"It's the way the paint's mixed," Stringfellow said. "The original version had a lot of green in it, and we went through — shoot, I probably have 30 samples of different purple-painted helmets that shift colors from purple to gold and from gold to purple that I stored throughout the project."

Stringfellow said the process of developing the helmet, which Nike had outsourced to Gemini Motorsports, took more than two dozen attempts to achieve the desired results.


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