The A11 Professional Football League’s New Jersey Generals leads the league 13 months before opening kickoff in one branding category – most helmet concepts.
Each A11FL team will have at least three helmet concepts when full-season play begins in March of 2015. The Generals already have blown past “at least,” as the league’s Team Brand Design Team already have five helmet options ready for the franchise.
“We took the Generals brand and tied it even deeper to the military theme than the original,” said Steve Humphries, A11FL Co-Founder/Vice President of Advanced Media. “Designing a series of helmets that represent different elements of the armed forces strengthens the brand even more.”
Dane Storrusten, the Founder/Managing Partner of Soulcake Creative out of San Clemente, California, said there were 10 Generals helmet variations, but they were narrowed to five.
“You can really hit a home run with the fans by re-invigorating that loyalty,” said Storrusten, referring to the original Generals of the United States Football League. “The design is so flexible.”
The Generals’ colors are red, gold, black and white. Their primary helmet design is red with the gold five-star logo with a black outline, black face mask, long black stripe and gold short stripes.
“(The goal was to) just keep it as clean as possible, make it really pop against the red,” Storrusten said. “(We’re) just building off loyalty there.”
The Gold Star helmet’s only variation from the primary helmet is a darker shade of gold in the logo, and no short stripes beside the long back stripe. Storrusten said this helmet has different reflective qualities on the gold stars.
Perhaps the most anticipated helmet in the entire A11FL is the Generals’ West Point helmet – a gold helmet with gold and black stars in the logo, black face mask and thick black stripe with the player’s uniform number just above the face mask.
“The gold helmet is really strong for the military aspects - very familiar,” said Storrusten, “and (with) the thick, broad black stripe and black face mask, this is the one of the toughest helmet designs we have.”
New Jersey’s Black Ops helmet plays off the West Point helmet – black with white, gray and black stars in the logo, black face mask and white uniform numerals just above the face mask.
“We went back and forth on this one, talked about keeping the gold stars on it,” Storrusten said. “The main purpose of the Black Ops is it’s all black-on-black. You have different finishes. I see the uniforms being the same way. It’s one of those that looks very sinister from a distance.”
Finally, the team’s Arctic Forces helmet is white with white and gray stars for the logo, white face mask, thick gray face mask and white uniform number just above the face mask.
“Total white-out,” Storrusten said. “We started thinking about all the possibilities with camouflage. It started to get a little busy, and we scaled back on some of those ideas, and decided to keep them pure. It (the uniforms) can end up looking pretty sharp. It would be a cool winter game (helmet).
“I think it’s just paying homage to the cool fan base. We did our job to stay true to the brand, but we thought we would have a little bit of fun with it.”
“The New Jersey Generals are a big deal, and we really wanted these helmets to really stand out in the New York football market,” Humphries said. “I think we have set the bar for the market.”