PORTLAND, Ore. -- It's the rarest of creatures, spotted only once a year and missing its most identifiable mark. Yes, it's Swoosh-less Oregon Duck season.
For the second straight year, Portland-based Adidas America Inc. released an apparel collection in partnership with ESPN Consumer Products commemorating the universities selected to play in BCS bowl games this year.
And just like last year, the University of Oregon — that fruitful petri dish of Nike Inc. design innovation — is in a BCS bowl (against Kansas State in the One Loss Shy of a Championship Game Fiesta Bowl).
It's the only time Adidas ever gets to make gear for Ducks fans, since the University of Oregon is one of the few major colleges in which it doesn't have a license to make apparel. By contrast, Oregon State — another Nike school — has issued a license to Adidas, allowing it to make Beavers gear.
That lack of a Duck license is the reason why the Oregon gear shown with this story is adorned with the simple UO block letters rather than the more stylized "O" to which we've all grown accustomed.
That "O," to nobody's surprise, is a Nike creation. That creature never appears without its identifiable mark.
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