The “3StripeLife” met Miami Hurricanes swag Saturday night at the Fontainebleau’s LIV nightclub in Miami Beach.
Liquored up or not, several hundred partygoers who were fortunate enough to get invitations seemed to love what they saw after 9 p.m. — new Adidas University of Miami football uniforms that appear to keep the tradition of “the U” intact while staying fresh and fashion-forward for the young at heart.
Adidas, fond of promoting its trademark three stripes, unveiled the green, orange and white jerseys and pants while celebrating its upcoming 12-year partnership with the University of Miami — one of the richest deals in college sports.
“Adidas did a great job of supporting our brand and being cutting edge while keeping the tradition,” UM athletic director Blake James said.
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Bathed in vibrant hues of magenta, red and yellow, LIV had food stations from various nationalities lining the perimeter of the club. Adidas-striped fabric covered several mannequins before the unveiling.
The three jerseys each have the word “miami’’ printed in traditional font above the number. A small Adidas logo is above “miami,” and an Anaconda-like pattern (or cheetah-like or honeycomb-like, depending on your perspective) blends into the jersey.
The jerseys and pants have “updated metallic stripes,” Adidas described in a release, “with the classic oversized ‘U’ logo stitched into the back of the jersey” as well as the outside of each pant leg near the hip.
The “Hurricanes” moniker is “strategically placed across the ribbing of the inside collar for the players to see when they don the uniform,’’ Adidas said.
The uniforms, which allow for nine combinations of orange, green and white, are made of “Primeknit,” Adidas described, helping players keep cool. The material clings to the players, “making it difficult for opponents to grab, hold or tackle.”
Also unveiled were “adizero 5-star 4.0 gloves” that form the U in orange, green and white when players throw up Miami’s famous letter. The adizero 5-star 4.0 cleats, the company said, are “lighter than any competitor cleat at 8.0 ounces.”
UM’s traditional white helmet with the orange-and-green stripes and “U” remains the same.
Mark Daniels, Adidas vice president of team sports, said the uniform was developed in collaboration with the UM athletic department, which included input from selected players such as standout quarterback Brad Kaaya.
The UM football players, many of them under age, were not invited to the party, though several coaches, including football coach Al Golden, baseball coach Jim Morris, women’s basketball coach Katie Meier and women’s tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews, were there.
Former Miami Hurricane stars, such as linnebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams, and center Brett Romberg, walked a black — not orange as advertised — carpet leading into LIV. Guests also included big-money donors. Hip-hop recording artist Pusha T (Terrence Thornton) and DJ Don Cannon were “surprise” performers.
Miami, the first program to sign an all-sports deal with Nike in 1987, will begin its contract with Adidas on Sept. 1. The contract runs through June 30, 2027, and is worth “more than $90 million in cash, product and marketing,” a source told the Miami Herald.
The UM football team, which finished 6-7 in 2014, starts its season Sept. 5 at home against Bethune-Cookman, though the exact uniform the players will wear has not been revealed.
Romberg, the 2002 Rimington Trophy winner, was a Nike guy when he played for nine years in the NFL — not to mention when he played for the Canes. But Romberg, who attended the bash, said Saturday he always felt good about the Adidas product.
“They work really well with the players,’’ Romberg said. “They were always trying to fit their hands properly with gloves or make molds of their feet for custom fit. Obviously, this was a monumental deal for UM, which was in dire need of having, I guess you can say, reconstruction of an image.
“This looks very Miami influenced, flashy and bright, but not ridiculous. They’re branding with a team that’s up and coming vs. a team that’s on the downslide. I do believe strongly that Miami is on an upswing. We hit rock bottom last year, and there’s nowhere to go but up.’’
Harry Rothwell, general manager of the popular AllCanes store on campus, was at the party and said he was thrilled with the attention Adidas was giving the Hurricanes. He said he expects the new jerseys to arrive by the middle of August but noted he will have hats and T-shirts by next week. The same gloves used by players will also be available next month.
“Adidas is putting a lot of effort, energy and marketing into this relationship,” Rothwell said, “which costs them a lot of money. They’re very committed.”
Some UM fans, such as women’s tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews, don’t care much about the uniforms, as long as they’re comfortable for the players.
“If it’s good for the athletic department, then I’m happy,” Yaroshuk-Tews said. “That’s really the bottom line. They’re giving us a lot more product, and the deal is great for our entire program.”
“But for me it’s never been about the clothes or what the tag says. It’s about trying to develop kids and be a winner.”