The Minnesota Vikings kicked things off as an expansion team in 1960, and first took the field for their season opener in 1961. It all began, however, when a group of five businessmen were granted a franchise in the newly formed AFL in 1959. The Vikes would forfeit their AFL membership the following year to become the NFL’s 14th franchise.
Bert Rose, the team’s first general manager, recommended “Vikings” as the team name to the board of directors because it encompassed the “…Nordic tradition in the northern Midwest” and, of course, the will to win! The board accepted Rose’s suggestion, marking the beginning of their marketing and the creation of the fan-favorite fight song, “Skol Vikings.” The Vikings set themselves apart from the rest of the league by becoming the first franchise in professional sports to feature the home state, not the city, in the team name.
The men in purple have kept to a simple white, purple, and gold theme for their team colors and jerseys. The Norseman logo has been a part of the team since it got its start in the early ‘60s, and has received only minor modifications over the years “to give it a more natural and defined look.” Consisting of a clean, classic color scheme and logo design, the team’s jersey has been nearly unchanged over the past half century.
Victory in Valhalla
Nestled in downtown Minnesota, the U.S. Bank Stadium became the Vikings’ new home as of mid-year 2016. Lighting up the Minnesota skyline, these grounds serve as the ideal turf for fans looking to enjoy some gridiron greatness. With a final seating capacity of more than 66,000, the entire stadium is sold out for the 2016 season – giving the team a sound opportunity to establish a prominent home-field advantage.
Currently a part of the NFC North, the Vikings have been at the top of their division since their inception into the league. The Vikings are known for providing their fans with unforgettable moments and have appeared in four championships (1969, 1973, 1974, and 1976). Only four other NFL franchises have played in more big game match-ups than the Vikings, and just one team has appeared in more playoff games: The Dallas Cowboys.
The Vikings have also had their fair share of superstars on their roster, including Hall of Famers Fran Tarkenton and Chris Carter, as well as exceptional players like Adrian Peterson.
Read on to see how the #MinnesotaVikings have shaped their white, purple, and gold color scheme throughout their time in the NFL.
Notable Jersey Changes
1961: The team’s inaugural jersey is purple and features white and gold stripes on the sleeves. The numbers are white with a gold outline. This look serves as the basis for many future jerseys to come.
1968: A new addition is made to the rotation: A home jersey that utilizes a simplistic design. The jersey features a plain purple base with white numbers. The gold outline and striping are removed.
1969: Commemorating the NFL’s 50th anniversary, the team adds an official patch to the left shoulder.
1970: The Vikings add nameplates to the back of the jerseys, a trend that has been adopted by every team in the NFL today.
1985: Maintaining the traditional look, the Vikings add a patch commemorating their 25th season.
1994: The team once again honors the NFL by adding a diamond-shaped patch representing the league’s 75th anniversary.
1996: The team adds their beloved logo design – the Norseman head – to both sleeves of the jersey.
2000: Keeping up with their tradition, the team adds yet another patch to represent their 40th anniversary.
2006: The first major change appears on the team’s home uniforms. A white stripe, outlined in gold, runs from the shoulders and down the sides. The team name is added above the numbers, and a new form of stripe is added to the pants along with the Norseman logo.
2010: For the Vikings’ 50th anniversary, a viking ship patch is added to the chest – commemorating Minnesota natives with deep Scandinavian roots.
2012: As part of a league-wide redesign with Nike, the Vikings get new jerseys featuring their traditional look. The collar and leg stripe are changed slightly.
2013: The jersey is updated with a more modern look. The broad white side stripe is replaced with thinner gold and white stripes at the base of the sleeves. Also, the pant details are replaced with simpler purple and gold full-length stripes.
2016 Color Rush: For the Vikings’ Thursday night game against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 1, the team will feature a special Nike Color Rush uniform. Both the jersey and pants are solid purple with gold accents.
The Vikings are headed back to the NFC Championship Game after pulling off an unbelievable last-minute win over New Orleans with a play that many have dubbed “Minnesota Miracle.” This will be the Vikes’ 10th visit to the NFC Championship, which has led them to four big show appearances. Unfortunately for Vikings fans, they haven’t yet won it all, but they’re hoping the team’s momentum will carry them all the way to a huge win and a franchise first Lombardi Trophy.
Queue the fight song: “V-I-K-I-N-G-S, Skol Vikings, Let’s Go!” The next time you’re at U.S. Bank Stadium, be prepared to cheer on the #VikingsNation. Head over to Fanatics for all of your Vikings essentials – they’ve got you covered, because someone has to.