OT Link: ND's apparel contract to expire...AD Swarbrick addresses Under Armour rumors

Submitted by Mr. Yost on December 26th, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Here's an OT link of the day...

Personally, I didn't know ND's contract with Adidas was up and I certainly didn't know people are saying they're moving to Under Armour.



If this is the case, I wonder if this affects Adidas and Michigan (if at all). There have been many complaints of the years, but Adidas would almost HAVE to make us "their Oregon" or "their Maryland."

Of course they'd have to do it without making us anything close to Oregon or Maryland (despite the efforts with the bumblebees).

One of my biggest gripes that no one really mentions is our basketball jerseys, I like them, but I hate that it's the basic Adidas template everyone else uses.

Michigan should have their own custom jersey in EVERY sport and it should be simple, traditional, and MICHIGAN. If Adidas wants to make an alternate for every sport that embodies this, I'm all for it, go ahead...people will buy them and it doesn't mean the teams have to wear them.


Mr. Yost

December 26th, 2013 at 5:22 PM ^

Without ND, it HAS to be Michigan as the flagship school, right?

Sure there's Tennessee, Louisville and many others, but none of that is Michigan. Only ND was close.

I doubt it takes Oregon or Maryland a week to get replacements. I doubt their borrowing jerseys from other schools for their QBs.

I don't like Adidas, but I'd tolerate them if we became their TRUE flagship school and they treated us like Nike treats Oregon/UA treats Maryland.

That said, I don't want a bunch of alternates and it pissed me off that they let Nebraska and Wisconsin wear the jerseys without the number on the front. Some things should be MICHIGAN ONLY.

If they're not willing to do this, I'm perfectly okay going back to Nike and being just another Nike school.


December 26th, 2013 at 3:11 PM ^

Notre Dame wants to be treated differently and they will get that from Under Armour. Nike has Oregon, [email protected] has several other schools, but lacks a unique identity and uses the same template for almost every school as the OP pointed out. Therefore, I think Under Armour comes out on top IMO.  Will UM follow suit?


December 26th, 2013 at 3:12 PM ^

The deals they got in the past go-around and the deal Michigan got is all ancient history. The market is saturated and numbers near $10 million for all sports just aren't there anymore. They are using under armor as leverage against Adidas.


December 26th, 2013 at 3:17 PM ^

It's not about what Nike, Adidas, etc. produce for us.  it's all about the AD saying "no" to clown uniforms.  

That said, did you see the Boise St vs Oregon St game?  The uniforms were a perfect example of the shoe company putting out vastly different unis.  Oregon State had really nice, simple uniforms and Boise had their garbage unis.  Both school are Nike schools...with completely different approaches.

Mr. Yost

December 26th, 2013 at 5:26 PM ^

...but the AD doesn't pick the uniforms.

That's moronic to even suggest such a thing. Dave Brandon has NO SAY in uniform selection.

Do you think he chooses when basketball wears white and when they wear blue?

Certainly he can say no, because, well, it's his athletic department...he can do what he wants.

But I'll say this like I said two years ago...If the football TEAM wants to wear a particular uniform, what does Dave Brandon look like saying "no?"

As long as their not red or green or have gun advertisements all over them, I'm not sure what Brandon can really do.


December 26th, 2013 at 6:59 PM ^

I really don't care who the provider is going forward but to all of the Nike lovers on this board I think you are living in the past. I just got an Arizona State Nike jacket for Christmas and I couldn't be more disappointed with it. All of the logos are simple iron on patches that feel like plastic. I am positive they are going to fall off.


December 27th, 2013 at 12:34 AM ^

When I was shopping some MSU stuff for some family members I noticed that the coaches shirts were all a rubbery, screen print for the swoosh and spartan helmet. Same for the lettering on the MSU shooting shirt as well and Nike is just as guilty of using the same or very similar templets for multiple schools as well. Every schools shooting shirt is the same design with different colors and different rubber logos.


December 26th, 2013 at 3:16 PM ^

I believe there was an article earlier in the year in which Dave Brandon was quoted as saying that Michigan intends to honor the term of the Adidas contract, which for us runs through 2016-17, as I recall.

I would suspect that we would probably want a similar treatment with respect to the overall look if we did change providers at that time - Swarbrick doesn't seem to want any drastic changes to Notre Dame's brand image. Michigan (like ND) has this great problem of having massive brand equity, but significant Oregon-type changes to uniforms would certainly not serve to protect that. 


December 26th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

I personally hate the generic bball jerseys that addias has for the all the schools it sponcers.. I can't figure out why we can't keep just plain and simple classic uni's.. this is Michigan and we deserve better..



December 26th, 2013 at 3:23 PM ^

I just like the Nike Michigan apparel better. Adidas hoodies and tees suck. The sizing is all over the place. I also like the Nike drifit stuff much better than the Adidas climalite.


December 26th, 2013 at 3:27 PM ^

Did grad school at Temple University (Under Armour) and their stuff is way better than the adidas product (both of which I received and purchased over the XMas).

Dave Brandon would be wise to take that University of Maryland grad's money in 2017.


December 26th, 2013 at 3:32 PM ^

[quote]One of my biggest gripes that no one really mentions is our basketball jerseys, I like them, but I hate that it's the basic Adidas template everyone else uses.

Michigan should have their own custom jersey in EVERY sport and it should be simple, traditional, and MICHIGAN.[/quote]

I don't even know what that'd look like. I don't think that overlap exists in the jersey Venn diagram. Michigan has had relatively plain/basic basketball jerseys for decades; how do we all of a sudden have a custom, unique look that's still traditional? Our tradition is relatively plain jerseys.

Wolverine Devotee

December 26th, 2013 at 3:51 PM ^

The only thing I like about Nike is the quality of the football teams that wore Nike here.

I hope adidas stays for selfish reasons. #1, I like their stuff. But also because I've spent tons of $ on adidas Michigan gear. Michigan adidas winter gear, too. The gloves, jacket, knit hats.

It's not only Michigan adidas gear. The only type of socks I own are adidas. As well as boxers and shoes. When I played ball, I was the only on my team that wore adidas gloves and cleats.

I'm kind of an apparel snob. If it ain't adidas, it better blow me away for me to buy it.

The only exceptions I've made personally to my rule of only buying from the official outfitter is championship gear. The NCAA Basketball regional locker room gear, the Nike Sugar Bowl gear etc.


December 26th, 2013 at 4:15 PM ^

We need to go back to Nike if the opportunity presents itself. I personally think Adidas is the absolute worst of the three major sporting companies. Adidas, for me, is very amatuerish. Crappy quality, crappy design.


1. Nike



2. Under Armor

3. Adidas


Bring back Nike



December 26th, 2013 at 5:29 PM ^

My guess would be the equipment manager has no say in the matter. Too much money involved to have it slip down the ladder that far. Equipment managers just handle the inventory for clothing and equipment. This is a DB deal with maybe some input from coaches.

marco dane

December 26th, 2013 at 4:55 PM ^

maize from their hostage position so my fellow maize & blue friends can FINALLY dress in same school colors. Optic of viewing soo many different *variations* of mazie from my flat is frustrating...


December 26th, 2013 at 6:19 PM ^

Bring Nike back.  They had a much deeper selection of goods for fans.  I don't buy nearly as much as I did when Nike was the provider of choice. Adidas just doesn't seem "cooleenuff"


December 26th, 2013 at 6:28 PM ^

Michigan needs Nike for basketball recruiting. All top AAU programs are Nike. AAU coaches gain/lose money from Nike based on whether or not their players go to Nike school. We got lucky with guys like McGary, Robinson, and others because they didn't play on the Nike EYBL circuit. I am convinced that Nike played a big part in us losing Booker. Under Armour would be the death of the basketball program..


December 26th, 2013 at 8:19 PM ^

Rick Pitino.

John Beilein is a good coach, not sure he is a hall of famer like Pitino.

I'm not saying you can't get good recruits with adidas, it's just a lot easier with Nike. For example, Anthony Davis played for an AAU team called Mean Streets, coached by our own Tai Streets. Tai would have loved to pitch Michigan to Davis, but didn't because his team would have lost a good amount of money from Nike (complete speculation on the number but I'm guessing around $10,000 maybe even as much as $20,000 if you consider what Streets' team gained when Davis chose Kentucky). Tai is a true Michigan man, but AAU is a dirty business and you have to play the game with your sponsors if you want to stay at the highest level.


December 27th, 2013 at 1:31 AM ^

Ridiculous because it's true. The highest level of AAU basketball is completely run and funded by shoe companies. Nike sponsors the most tournaments and teams. Adidas sponsors as well, but Nike is the biggest player. You think inner city Chicago kids have the money to fly to tournaments across the country every other weekend during the summer?


December 26th, 2013 at 6:49 PM ^

What is so special about Nike? Every brand has good jerseys and ugly jerseys. Every school has input as to which ones to use.
The quality cannot be much different, nor will it mean a competitive disadvantage. Finally if we are at a point where brands have an effect on recruiting then i just don't know what to say.

Bando Calrissian

December 26th, 2013 at 6:49 PM ^

This has been covered on Uni-Watch for a few weeks now. There are rumblings ND is pissed Adidas has given Michigan the favored-contract status, plus it seems they have the same kinds of frustrations Michigan/our fanbase has with Adidas as well. There also seem to be plans to do a major renovation project at their stadium, too. It will be a big few years of change down in South Bend, methinks.

When you look at the work Under Armour has done for schools like Northwestern and Maryland, giving them individual identities that aren't obviously national templates or multi-school promotional uniform campaigns, it's hard not to envy it. While Maryland's stuff is pretty garish, the NU uniforms are absolutely wonderful, and really capture the school and campus identities really, really nicely.

While I personally favor Nike, it would be hard for MIchigan not to look into UA when the time comes. The Adidas experiment has been a cheesy disaster.


December 26th, 2013 at 8:14 PM ^

addidas payed millions more than nike, enough for the past regime  to go with them. the new regime will be moving us back to nike.

UA doesnt support all UM sports, which makes it a non-starter.


<--- in the know.


December 26th, 2013 at 8:33 PM ^

I like the basketball jerseys a lot but agree completely with the OP.  UM should never share a uniform template with others - we should always have our own unis.


December 27th, 2013 at 3:54 AM ^

I like Adidas fan gear, but I don't care for the team's jerseys. Nike had the old mesh shirts that never tore and had almost no stretch, making it hard to hold/be held. The current kit seems really stretchy. I don't know if Nike has also gone to the new material, but I prefer the old large mesh that was so tight it took some help to get them over your pads.