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Who's Responsible for Adidas' Bad Uniforms?

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You can't spell "Adidas Disaster" without a capital A-D.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Recently Adidas has come under some Internet fire for their questionable choices in uniform designs. Whether it be oversized logos, giant chickens on helmets or tire tread tracks on jerseys…Adidas has in some sense become a joke as far as uniforms go.

And maybe some of that is deserved. After all I’m really not sure what they were thinking with these uniforms. I don’t get the thought process behind a giant n in the middle of the jersey but that’s just me.

adidas n

They like the letter "N"

But it seems unfair to lay all of the blame for these uniforms at Adidas’ feet. Yes, they are the ones designing them, but someone in these athletic departments is both approving these designs and giving Adidas the go-ahead to turn vision into reality. So hypothetically these helmets right here...

louisvillehelmet

CHICKENHAWK

...had to be approved through a conversation similar to this

Adidas: hey we’ve got some new uni ideas for you

AD: cool, shoot

Adidas: how do you feel about a giant lifelike angry bird on the side

AD: awesome let’s make it happen

The athletic departments are equally, if not primarily responsible for these catastrophic uniforms. Did we blame Von Dutch for making those awful trucker hats back in the early '90s or did we simply assume that the people who went out and bought them were d-bags? I think the latter is true.

I’m not trying to absolve Adidas of all wrongdoing here, but the truth is that there are athletic department officials who don’t recognize that uniforms are an extension of branding efforts…or maybe they do understand that and still choose to go with uniforms that are difficult to associate with the overall larger brand. That inability to connect to the bigger picture results in the ADs facilitating the process by which Adidas comes up with these odd looking unis.

michigan

As an A&M fan I’ve generally been pleased with the alternate uniforms that Adidas has come up with for us. We’ve done black, grey, all-whites and a throwback. The only questionable one for me was the white/chrome combo we had for Mississippi State in 2014, but I know there are folks out there that liked that one. Me being pleased with our uniform combinations isn’t an accidental thing—it represents the intentional work on the part of our athletic department to be strategic in how we use uniforms to market ourselves. So yeah. Maybe Adidas is to blame a bit for the designs…but it’s not solely their fault. Blame the ADs who approve these crap designs and push them through to production.