In the ultimate of passive-aggressive insults, you could at least say Adidas America was trying something new, right?
Unfortunately for the Portland-based athletics brand, there was nothing passive aggressive about the media's reaction to the new uniforms it designed for six major men's college basketball programs.
Adidas rolled out the new uniforms late last month to capitalize on college hoops' post-season tournaments. Of the six programs, three — UCLA, Louisville and Baylor — are wearing short-sleeved jerseys, something Adidas is hoping becomes a new trend in hoops attire.
But the derision emanating from the Twittersphere, on TV and elsewhere is centered partly on a camouflage pattern worn by every team — Paul Lukas at Uni-Watch.com refers to them as the Fruit Stripe designs, for the pattern's likeness to the colorful striped gum — and the colors.
In the latter, Notre Dame, which donned the court in lime green togs, took the brunt of the abuse.
USA Today reported that that the uniforms drew comparison to McDonald's Shamrock Shake. On Twitter, @Irrational_Fan wrote: "Even Manti Te'o Doesn't believe Notre Dame's uniforms are real."
Perhaps the harshest critic was ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas:
Vote: What do you think of the uniforms? Vote in the Portland Business Journal poll.
But does the harsh criticism matter as long as everybody's talking about the uniforms? Adidas isn't saying so if it does.
What the company is saying, however, is that the uniforms were designed with the athletes in mind.
“We’re always looking to innovate and give our schools the newest, most progressive technology to enable them to perform at the top of their game, while providing designs and colors that get players excited and proud to put on their uniforms," spokeswoman Madeline Breskin wrote via e-mail on Friday. "At all levels we’ve found many players like short sleeve tops and bold unique styles to stand out on the court and we’ve received great feedback from players from the NBA to the NCAA. New uniform designs like the adizero uniforms are an opportunity to build on tradition while inspiring and exciting today’s athletes, students and fans.”
Speaking of tradition, USA Today reports that one of Adidas' most traditional programs, Indiana University, declined the chance to wear bolder uniforms.
"Our thing is stability and a classic look," athletic director Fred Glass told the newspaper earlier this month.
The Portland Business Journal is a KATU.com news partner.