For fashion-conscious University of Miami football fans who care about the colors, designs and (in this case) stripes that their Hurricanes will wear in the coming years, the wait is nearly over.
Adidas, the brand with three stripes, will celebrate its 12-year deal with Miami, believed to be one of the richest in college sports, by unveiling the new Hurricanes football uniforms Saturday night at a by-invitation-only bash at the Fontainebleau’s LIV nightclub in Miami Beach.
But — Surprise! — fans got a sneak peek Friday night after midnight when Adidas changed its Twitter page to show the front of the orange jersey — from above the waist — used for home games. One of the two released photos also shows a rendering of a player forming the “U’’ with his Adidas “adizero’’ orange, green and white gloves. The word “miami’’ is printed in traditional font above the jersey number, in this case “15.’’ That jersey number belongs to quarterback Brad Kaaya, but represents the year 2015 to UM officials who implemented a new retail-jersey number policy to reflect the current season.
A widespread cheetah-type pattern (or snakeskin-like shapes, depending on your point of view) fades into the jersey, with the white helmet appearing to be the traditional UM helmet.
“I’m excited to have the uniforms made public,’’ UM athletic director Blake James said. “Obviously I’ve had the opportunity to see them before, and I think Adidas has done a great job in supporting our tradition and keeping us a cutting-edge, modern University of Miami program.’’
Up to 500 guests are expected, including an array of former Hurricanes football stars who will walk the “orange carpet’’ from 6 to 7 p.m.
The event signals “the beginning of a new era in Hurricane Athletics,’’ the media invitation states, “and will be THE PLACE TO BE ON SOUTH BEACH.’’ It lasts until 10 p.m., highlighted by the 9:20 p.m. unveiling of uniform combos that include orange, green and white jerseys, and pants in each color.
Among the 2015 uniforms are expected to be all black (blackout) and all white (whiteout) versions, each of which would be used for a special, designated game – maybe more if the Canes deemed them worthy. Translation: if they win in them.
However, it is not known if the blackout and whiteout uniforms will be unveiled Saturday.
One source said there are no throwback, retro-jersey combinations.
Miami, the first program to sign an all-sports deal with Nike back in 1987, will begin its new contract on Sept. 1. It runs through June 30, 2027, and is worth “more than $90 million in cash, product and marketing,’’ a source told the Miami Herald.
The deal was announced in January.
Miami, FIU and FAU are the only Florida schools signed with Adidas.
Nike has been the king of sports apparel deals with major U.S. programs, and just announced its pending partnership with Michigan – an Adidas school that will reconnect with Nike for a reported $122.3 million over 11 years, with a four-year renewal option that makes it worth $169 million over 15 years.
UM, a private university, is not required to disclose the details of its new contract, but it is believed to be the longest shoe and apparel contract of any NCAA program – and among the top three to five deals ever.
Notre Dame, previously partnered with Adidas until it switched last year to Under Armour, is now in a 10-year deal reportedly worth $90 million.
Last year, Miami and Nike unveiled the Hurricanes’ first new uniforms in several years. The uniforms, including a gray one called “smoke,’’ were popular among fans and players.
“The state of Florida produces so many great athletes,’’ Adidas senior director of sports marketing, Chris McGuire, said earlier this year when the partnership was announced. “Now to have that central place, that beachhead for our brand to live and transpire and go out to the rest of the community and to the athlete population here in the state, to put a value on that is priceless.’’