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Follow-up on UCLA Uniform Debacles: More Datapoints on Why Adidas Not to Blame

Well as has been extensively blogged by Bellerophon and others, uniforms have been a recurring theme here at BN, ever since Adidas decided to roll out the TechFit uniforms, which we derided as cheap-looking, child-sized knock-off looking uniforms that were lame on multiple levels, most noticeably with the shortening of our iconic UCLA shoulder stripes to mere dashes on the shoulders.

However, we eventually found out that Adidas wasn't the problem. We found out that they were more than capable of making sleek, cool-looking alternate uniforms that people would love, doing so for Michigan and Notre Dame. In case you missed it, recently there was a report in the Oregonian that Adidas has in fact hooked up UCLA with the richest deal in the conference:

Oregon is rising. Washington is a big dog. But when it comes to multi-sport athletic outfitting and endorsement deals, UCLA is tops in the Pacific-10 Conference.

Adidas gives the Bruins $4.6 million annually in cash, uniforms and other perks, well ahead of Nike's $3.4 million annual gifts to Washington. The Ducks rank third, at $2.8 million annually, despite Nike co-founder and UO alumnus Phil Knight being a fixture at football games.

And things in Westwood are about to get better: UCLA has agreed to a seven-year extension with Adidas that will approach Michigan's unparalleled deal, worth $7.5 million annually, Bruins athletic director Dan Guerrero said.

This is not really a surprise to us. We knew when UCLA resigned its contract with Adidas, the school was going to get paid a decent chunk of change. The question we have is how do we end up with the dismal state of marketing around the UCLA brand despite this kind of contractual deal which reportedly is richest in the conference?

Here are the numbers from the Oregonian:

Team Primary deal Years Term Worth in cash and merchandise Value per year
Arizona Nike 7 2007-14 $7,927,500 $1,132,500
ASU Nike 6 2008-14 $11,300,000 $1,883,333
California Nike*# 5 2002-07 $1,745,000 $349,000
Oregon Nike 8** 2010-18 $22,725,000 $2,840,625
Oregon State Nike 5 2006-11 $3,264,250 $652,850
Stanford Nike private schools not required to release contracts
UCLA Adidas 6** 2005-11 $27,412,000 $4,568,667
USC Nike private schools not required to release contracts
Washington Nike 10 2009-19 $34,400,000 $3,440,000
WSU Nike 8 2009-17 $11,700,000 $1,462,500

* expired
** extension
# California's contracts didn't include the value of hundreds of pairs of shoes and other promised apparel

Those numbers provide good justification on why UCLA is sticking with Adidas. However, they do not explain the debacles that have been well chronicled here on BN.

We get that Adidas is a relatively new player in college athletics. Despite that handicap, schools like Michigan and Notre Dame haven't had any issues executing roll out of alternate uniforms with good sense of timing. Yet at UCLA we have seen fail after fail under Guerrero's incompetent leadership with no marketing instincts that preserved UCLA's classic look while also making sincere effort to expand the program's reach.

Could Adidas do a better job of marketing the UCLA brand? Perhaps, they could. However, the real fault here lies with Morgan Center. As discussed before, Guerrero has failed to provide any semblance of competent leadership as our athletic department has done nothing to develop a brand identity around our football program, which has been gutted in last 10+ years. It is not going to matter much what kind of apparel contract our athletic program signs with Adidas or other companies until we see a wholesale regime change at the top of our athletic department. It is past time for Chianti-what's wrong with Spaulding-Dan to go.