Got a note the other day from reader Casey Lute, as follows:
I was leaving the Oregon State men’s basketball game this evening when I walked by their sports workout facility, only to see this sign that I snapped a photo of. In case you can’t make out the words, it says, “Official Apparel Must Be Worn at All Times,” followed by Nike, Diadora, and Asics logos. I’m sure this is probably commonplace among sports teams and colleges, but I’d never seen such a sign before and thought I’d pass it along.
That was particularly interesting in light of a note I’d recently received from another reader, who wishes to remain nameless:
I worked for Adidas over the summer, teaching at a sponsored sports camp, and one of my co-workers was a Notre Dame athlete. Most large universities have exclusive workout facilities for their varsity athletes that are not accessible to the general public or the general student population, and Notre Dame is no exception. He and another of my colleagues, who was an athlete at Minnesota, were having a discussion about the dress codes in theese private athlete weight rooms.
Apparently at Minnesota, each article of clothing being worn in the varsity weight room must bear either an approved school logo OR a Nike swoosh. This includes shirts, shorts, shoes and socks, plus any wristbands, headbands, etc. A fairly ridiculous policy for a facility that’s off-limits to the public. Now apparently, at Notre Dame, each article of clothing must display both a Notre Dame logo AND an Adidas logo, with the exception of shoes and socks, which do not require an ND logo. My co-worker was telling me that he has actually been asked to leave the varsity lockerroom and change because he was wearing a Notre Dame shirt (in the Notre Dame varsity weight room, as a Notre Dame athlete) that did not have an Adidas logo on it.
Again, this commitment to branding came in an environment that was completely closed off to the public, and where Adidas therefore derives almost literally zero advertising benefit, since anyone allowed in would already be a Notre Dame employee or a Notre Dame athlete (and thus would already be the beneficiary of hundreds and hundreds of dollars’ worth of free Adidas gear).
I could go on a long rant here about precisely what degree of corporate bullshit this all represents, but let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?
Oh, and it’s good to see that Notre Dame’s devotion to Adidas even extends to mascot hosiery. Whoo-hoo, great branding job, big Christmas bonuses for everyone, wheeeee!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Interesting Wikipedia note on the Bills’ uniforms: “[I]n 2002, the Bills’ white uniforms went through a radical change. The white uniforms include a red stripe on the sides and are dark blue along the shoulders of the uniforms, likely to mimic CFL uniforms designed in a similar manner due to the team’s large fan base in Canada as a result of Buffalo’s proximity to Canada.” As Austin Gillis notes, unattributed Wikipedia quotes are suspect by definition, but the CFL connection at least sounds plausible, no? … Japan’s uniforms in the World Baseball Classic will look like this (with thanks to, of course, Jeremy Brahm). … Now that’s a basketball uniform. Mike Burke found that photo while skimming through the L.A. Library photo archive. … According to a small item buried in the dot-dot-dot section of this article, LeBron James “was called for delay of game [on Saturday] because he was wearing three undershirts that he had to take off when checking into the game” (thanks, Vince). … Is Nike making slingshot attire now? Nope — that’s a protester from the recent riots in Greece. Full gallery here (with thanks to Harold Mellor). … Here’s something you don’t often see: a Cincinnati Swords sighting (with thanks to Adam Pratt). … The football team at Escondido High School in California wears black helmets — except for a designated “team leader,” who gets to wear an orange helmet. Details here (with thanks to Mike Hersh). … Pretty damn thorough video treatment of Orioles jersey history here, with the team’s cap history covered here (big thanks to Jack Krabbe). … Good spot by Doug Keklak, who notes that Petr Sykora apparently wears his wedding ring under his glove. Is this common among hockey players? … Tons of great vintage print ads on display here (with thanks to Carrie Klein). … Reprinted from yesterday’s comments: The “A” designation on the Flyers’ third jersey has changed typefaces. … Someone needs a sports bra. … Reprinted from last night’s comments: Instead of color-on-color, how about gray vs. white? That’s O’Connell and Bishop Ireton in DC high school basketball action.