Quality Produce: Nike vs. Adidas – Who Won The Brand War At The Rose Bowl?
While last nights game between Wisconsin and Oregon was close with both teams appearing well matched, the apparel showdown in the Rose Bowl between Nike and Adidas was a clear blow out. It is well documented that Nike Apparel is head and shoulders above other sportswear companies, the Rose Bowl showed just how far behind Adidas is when it comes to modern uniforms.
Both companies released their Rose Bowl uniforms last week with media fan fare surrounding. Nike’s newest version of their Pro Combat series boast eleven different fabrics including Nike Chain Mail, a brand new technology to increase breathability and movement. The numbers are painted in an irradecent purple and green to reflect the bright feathers of a mallards wings, and a silver chrome helmet with the Ducks wing symbol tops off the futuristic look. Adidas’ approach was decidedly more traditional, chosing a mostly white uniform with red stripes and subtle”Battle Rose” design printed on the letters and the helmet.
While Oregon’s uniforms were obviously cooler in pictures, it wasn’t until gameday that Nike showed how far ahead they are. As the sun set in Pasadena and the Ducks helmets turned from chrome to a dark matte silver and the stadium lights showed the irradecence on their numbers. Oregon players looked like they should strap on jet packs and take to the sky, while Wisconsin looked traditional, stately even, but in desperate need of an update. Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema, wearing an Adidas warm up style zip, looked like he was coaching high school soccer in 1994.
We don’t actually believe that the uniforms affect the outcome of a game, but they make an impression on the viewers, and most likely potential recruits. While Adidas has a lock on modern streetwear design and couture collaborations, they are losing the apparel game and on a stage as grand as the Rose Bowl, this could be a costly defeat.
by Lennon Bergland
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