NIKE Inc.introduced a new innovative padding system called Nike Pro Combat giving today’s football player lighter, stronger and more breathable base layer protection than ever before. Nike Pro Combat is ergonomically designed to provide sport-specific protection to athletes without restricting flexibility. As part of its Nike Pro Combat collection, Nike is introducing the Nike Pro Combat Deflex Short and the Nike Pro Combat Deflex Elbow Pad. Both pieces are designed to integrate seamlessly into the football uniform as a lightweight extension of the body. Worn in competition for the first time at the end of the ’08-’09 college football season by a number of teams competing in Bowl games, including several teams participating in the championship series, Nike Pro Combat uses dual-density EVA foam for added impact absorption while offering a PE foam grid for additional impact coverage. In addition, Nike Pro Combat is made with Nike Dri-FIT performance fabric to help wick moisture and provide superior air permeability. “Today’s game has bigger, faster and stronger players who hit harder,” said Nike Sport Apparel and Innovation Creative Director Todd Van Horne. “Nike Pro Combat is a breakthrough solution. Its patented energy absorbing foam redistributes the impact of bone crunching tackles and provides the ultimate base layer player protection.” While Nike continues to make advances with innovation and design, some things remain constant. The winner of this year’s college football championship game will once again be wearing Nike designed performance apparel and footwear. This will mark the 10th consecutive year that the No. 1 team in college football will wear Nike as it accepts college football’s biggest prize. More than 70 percent of the teams (49 of 68 bowl teams) participating in bowl games this season have been outfitted by Nike in a variety of ways. Beginning in June 2009, Nike Pro Combat Deflex Short will be available to consumers for (without thigh plate) and the Nike Pro Combat Vis Elbow Pad will be available for beginning in Fall 2009.