As reported by the very-good folks at UniWatch, Adidas is supplying the Michigan Wolverines and Notre Dame Fighting Irish with some pretty sleek looking "legacy" uniforms for the first-ever game under the lights at the Big House in Ann Arbor. Adidas pulled out all the stops, with the end result being some pretty slick uniforms for both Michigan and Notre Dame. Naturally, since UCLA is also an Adidas school, it naturally made me wonder what cool stuff Adidas will roll out for our Bruins this season.
Then I remembered that we're just a second class citizen in the Adidas family, not worthy of the attention or quality that Michigan apparently is deserving of. Don't get be wrong, I like Michigan a lot; in fact, in many ways, I think of Michigan as the UCLA of the Midwest (or UCLA as the Michigan of Southern California). But, Michigan is not the kind of school that automatically deserves prime position over our beloved alma mater. Never mind that our basketball program has more history, both past and present. Never mind that we're destroying Michigan in the total number of NCAA titles. And don't mind that we're in the second largest media market in the nation.
Once again, Adidas has given the goods to someone else and simply left us wondering.
Let's break that down after the jump.
As we've noted before here on BN, UCLA is the sole Adidas school in the Pac-12. Despite being in a huge media market with multiple programs that get national exposure, Adidas continues to shaft the Bruins with a second-class contract, especially when compared to Michigan. Moreover, Adidas has a long history of giving UCLA nothing more than a passing glance when it comes to promoting our school and gear. As Nestor noted back in 2010:
First of all the company has done a terrible job of promoting UCLA's brand. They haven't promoted the UCLA brand the way we thought they would when UCLA entered into the relationship in 1999 (when our football team was riding high). Sure our football program has struggled since then, but our basketball program created plenty of marketing opportunities in recent years and we never saw Adidas play them up in an effective manner.
Second, UCLA football program specially has had equipment issues with Adidas. It was very noticeable during the Eagle Bank Bowl in DC, when our team got caught flatfooted early in the first half because of equipment issues on the frozen turf (while Temple players were doing just fine).
Unfortunately for us, Adidas still is doing a terrible job of promoting UCLA's brand. It's been discussed time and time again, but Adidas just doesn't seem interesting in promoting UCLA's brand, even in its stores in Southern California (whereas Nike is more than happy to pimp U$C, Stanford, and Cal all over the state).
So, you'll understand why I'm skeptical that Adidas will come out with anything at least half as cool as what they've rolled out for Irish and Wolverines. I know the majority of BN readers would rather switch to Nike. I mean, after all, this is the company that gives us second-rate practice jerseys, while Tennessee and Michigan get the good stuff. They've managed to tweak our classic basketball uniform, but worst of all, they provided our football program with cheap looking, totally ugly, pathetic looking uniforms that look like some high school drop-out at the strip mall screen-printer put them together. The total lack of respect for UCLA by Adidas is appalling. Perhaps our anger should be directed at the clueless chumps in Morgan Center, who don't seem to care that Adidas is giving us second-tier gear and not pushing for the best, like at Michigan.
So once again, Adidas rolls out some pretty slick looking uniforms that will surely get the fans to part with their hard-earned cash and make the recruits excited. But once again, UCLA is left out in the cold, wondering when Adidas is finally going to give us any respect.
Hey, maybe this year our football team will at least have their names on the back in a color that actually matches the number on their back.
But with Adidas, that might be asking too much for UCLA.