Adidas Vs Nike Pro Combat

Submitted by ryanfourmayor on September 16th, 2011 at 11:46 AM

This is an article on Sportspickle (a comedic play on sports website) about the approach Adidas took to counter Nikes Pro Combat Look.

Adidas today announced a unique design approach to college football uniforms, vowing the company will seek to differentiate itself from its competitors with uniform styles that “don’t look like crap” or make fans “want to pluck out their eyes and throw them in a sewer.”

“The Nike Pro Combat series and the Under Armour Maryland uniforms have been getting a lot of attention,” said Adidas America president Patrik Nilsson. “So we held a meeting on how to counter them. After a while, one young designer raised his hand and said: ‘Oooh! I know! Why don’t we make uniforms that don’t look like shit?’”

Adidas decided to give the idea a chance and took it to several focus groups.

“Overwhelmingly, we found that people prefer uniforms that look ‘nice’, ‘cool’ and ‘classic’ over those they feel are ‘designed by Satan’, ‘appear as though a cat vomited on it’ and ‘makes you wonder if the designer went to a rival school and is playing a prank on the team that he hates’,” said Nilsson. “It was really eye-opening.”

The focus group testing unanimously favored the adidas approach, including even the support of a blind man who used his refined sense of touch and smell to determine that “something wasn’t right about the Nike and Under Armour uniforms.”

“I was also tipped off a bit because several of the sight-abled people in my group vomited when they were shown Nike uniforms,” he said.

With the research behind them, Adidas plans to continue its unique approach of designing palatable uniforms that won’t depress or enrage fans. However, the decision will halt the company’s plans to hire some new designers.

“We had been considering bringing in a drunk guy, a failed modern artist and a monkey to our design team,” said Nilsson, “but now we don’t have to. I would, however, encourage drunk artists monkey to apply at Nike and Under Armour.”



September 16th, 2011 at 12:01 PM ^

Has adidas done more than the M-ND game. While I didn't hate the throwbacks they weren't terrific. While Nike has made some ugly ones reeve made some great ones as well. WVUs last year, Oregons all black against LSU.


September 16th, 2011 at 12:04 PM ^

I can't understand why anyone would want Michigan to go back to Nike. I liked Nike when Michigan wore Nike unis, but I don't AT ALL like what is lampooned, i.e., the ridiculous Maryland, Oregon, (and Michigan State, and Ohio) Pro-combat style unis.

Guess you can say I'm an old crab (get off my lawn!) but the kind of pro-combat stuff I've seen doesn't do a thing for me. Well, not true:  the pro-combat unis do make me roll my eyes, sneer, and want to vomit.

Six Zero

September 16th, 2011 at 2:11 PM ^

is that when the adidas contract was announced, there was all this talk about creating a unique UM look, less of the template approach.  And basically it's just been take all things adidas and just render them in maize and blue, and now poof! it's Michigan.

I'd prefer that the templates and stylings of all of our gear-- coaches polos, sweats, etc., and not just jerseys- were uniquely Michigan, and not the same as Louisville, Nebraska, ND, Indiana, etc.

Heck, we've seen the stripes on the night game jersey-- they could even build our road jersey from them:

Forgive the crappy overlay-- kinda rushed it.  You get the idea.


September 16th, 2011 at 12:12 PM ^

I used to prefer Nike over Addidas, but now I'm kind of glad we are with Addidas.  The Pro combat uniforms are already getting old with me.  Everybody is trying to be unique by wearing these things, but in reality they're just trying to fit in, and I'm glad we don't have to follow that route.  Having said that, the piping on the road uniforms sucked, imo.


September 16th, 2011 at 12:30 PM ^


Having said that, the piping on the road uniforms sucked, imo.

I didn't necessarily like the Adidas piping in an of itself, but I did like the fact that I haven't seen any other team with that piping (please correct me if I missed anyone). Compare this with the final incarnation of the Nike road jerseys, which switched to the same bib piping that a dozen other Nike schools had. The Adidas piping was apparenly unique to Michigan, while the Nike piping said "This is a Nike school too".

PS: Yes, I did not really like the basketball jerseys


September 16th, 2011 at 7:40 PM ^

I think this is a very overlooked point, and I was going to use the same examples. It seems like everyone is assuming that had Michigan stayed with Nike, we would have ended up in Pro Combat uniforms, and I think that's quite a reach.  Whether it's Alabama and Penn State refusing, or Nike just knowing better, it's reasonable to think Michigan would fit into that same group and would have stayed with the classic look. 

Yostbound and Down

September 16th, 2011 at 1:10 PM ^


I personally like Nike's products better in general, but Adidas has done a good job of not changing the tradition of our uniforms too much, whereas I think if Michigan wore Pro Combat for the night game or any other game, we would have looked like a completely different team (witness Little Brother's South Florida duds.)

Blue Palasky_68

September 16th, 2011 at 2:53 PM ^

I like that Adidas has not messed with our uniforms, but I did like the other merchandise that Nike put out. I wish Adidas would find something close to the old Big House logo that Nike used.

M - Flightsci

September 16th, 2011 at 3:22 PM ^

I doubt Nike would been given the freedom to screw with the home uniforms very much.  That being said, I think they would have come up with some better throwback unis for the UTL game but Adidas didn't do a bad job either.


September 16th, 2011 at 4:41 PM ^

I despise the Nike Pro combat and all that stuff. I don't like the piping on the road jerseys, and I didn't like the last series of Nike jerseys Michigan wore because the numbers were too small. Good for adidas and the powers that be in going back to relatively plain road jerseys this year.

There is an advantage to the Nike nouveau crap, though: recruiting. Kids love it. We will always have the winged helmet going for us, but I still think it's a good thing to do throwback uni's. The UTL jerseys were tolerable and they were one more thing to wow recruits.