Skip to content

EXCLUSIVE: Adidas’s Caste System for College Football Uni Templates

On Friday I wrote about how the Texas A&M football team appeared to be upgrading to a new Adidas tailoring template. At the end of that piece, I wrote, “I assume we’ll be seeing other schools using this template as well — something to stay tuned for.”

Now we have more info on that, thanks to Uni Watch reader Ryan Cotter. He’s an Indiana fan and was recently tweeting about how the Hoosiers’ new uniforms looked cheaper than Washington’s:

After posting those tweets, Ryan received a DM from a senior designer at Adidas. He’s asked me not to reveal the designer’s name, but here’s a screen shot from their DM chat (with the designer’s identity whited out):

In other words: Texas A&M, Washington, and four other schools are part of Adidas’s tippy-top caste and get the best treatment, which is why we’ve seen the Aggies and Huskies in the newest template. Meanwhile, Indiana, Rutgers, and five other schools are part of the next caste.

Which are the other schools filling out those castes? I got in touch with the designer myself to ask him that, but he didn’t respond to my query. Maybe those of you who are more attuned to college football can help figure this out..?

(Big thanks to Ryan Cotter for sharing this with me.)

Comments (20)

    Miami Hurricanes must be in there, and I guess Mississippi State as well. If we look at basketball Kansas gets special adidas uniforms all the time. And sure, producing a set of basketball uniforms is easier and cheaper than supplying a whole football team, but maybe Kansas is in that top tier as well. As for the final top 6 team dressed by adidas my guess is NC State: they have had all sorts of special uniforms as well. But then again, NC State over Indiana and Rutgers? Well, why not?

    Based on one-offs and such, I might be willing to go with NCSU. But I hope not, if only because if they are getting elevated levels of consideration, Three Stripes needs to do a better job. Some of the stuff they’ve put on the athletes has been embarrassing to put it kindly.

    And if they are, they’re still below Louisville in the ACC. Then again, Louisville has the Adidas logo across an upper-deck section of seats in their football stadium, and the Cardinals mascot on the 50-yard line as well as center court in their basketball facility is strategically wearing Three Stripes footwear. The lengths the school and apparel maker went to to sell out would make purists like Paul and many others vomit. Yes … more shameless than many other schools with lucrative apparel deals.

    I agree: Louisville is bigger in exposure and revenue for adidias than NC State. And I also agree that putting the depicted mascot in supplier footwear is shameless. The live mascot wearing three stripes is already a bit tacky but to make sure the viewers will see the three stripes (or swoosh or any other brand) all the time by watching the field or court is too much.

    NC State does indeed have the new template, they just released a teaser video featuring them.

    Nebraska is one of them. I want to say Nebraska was one of the first schools to sign with them.

    Nebraska and Miami (Fla.) would be the two most obvious choices for the highest tier to me.

    I’d imagine the top tier is just the 13 schools Adidas sponsors for football in the P5. I bet it’s Louisville, Miami, Kansas, Washington, and Arizona State in the top tier.

    My guess, assuming only Power 5 College Football:
    Top 13: Arizona State, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas, Miami (FL), Miss State, NC State, Nebraska, Rutgers, Louisville, Texas A&M, Washington

    Top 6: Louisville, Miami (FL), Miss State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Washington

    University of Tulsa gets a raw deal. First, they don’t really have our hue if gold, so we have to wear Las Vegas gold (sand). Second, we have three colors, Royal Blue, Old Gold, and Red. I think Adidas limits us to two.

    Arizona State is one of the top six. I’ve seen their new uniforms for 2023 and their the same template as A&M and Washington

    Based purely off estimated revenue for their football programs, my guess for top 6: Texas A&M, Nebraska, Washington, Arizona State, Mississippi State and Georgia Tech.

    I based it off this:link A bit dated, but there are 3 or 4 schools that are real close. Miami, Louisville, Geo Tech, Kansas. Indiana was already ruled out, but they’re right there too. Be interesting to see what they really are!

    Hardly any sales of Georgia Tech merch. I’m a Tech grad. Most of the alumni who attend games who wear GT gear wear the same old stuff year after year. Compared to other schools, Tech students don’t wear as much GT merch. Few sports fans in Atlanta wear Tech gear. It’s hard to even find Tech gear in local stores. Georgia Tech has to be near the bottom of merch sales for adidas.

    Louisville’s been mentioned a few times here already, but to give the idea of them being in the Top 6 some more credit, I would point to some quotes a few years back from Tom Jurich (former AD) saying that he basically positioned Louisville to be to Adidas what Oregon is to Nike; that is, they get all of the cutting edge stuff, new/funky designs, etc. Heck, the Adidas logo is even in the seats of the new north end zone expansion, a la a European football club.

    Um, Jurich was making better than $2.5 million annually from his deals before some powers-to-be finally started throwing some issues – human and otherwise – out the door. I’m not buying that all of Jurich’s income was coming out of the school’s checkbook. Plus it seemed as if he were shilling Adidas gear even moreso than many D-I coaches. I have serious doubt that this is a coincidence.

Comments are closed.