When it comes to American Football, the construct is rather simple – the collegiate lifestyle can be a bit more of a grind, while the pros seems to indulge in the glitz and glamor their talent and lifestyle lends.
However, there is one city in particular that tends to provide a unique ambiguity to what is considered to be a “collegiate lifestyle” – and that’s Miami, Florida. With its array of professional teams, nightclubs and fast cars, Miami will forever be a destination for the young and exuberant.
Amidst all of the moving pieces involved, there is arguably one sports team that will forever have the city’s heart, and that’s the University of Miami football program. Incorporating a storied history that combs nearly half a century, the ‘Canes are entering a new stage of existence as its 27-year relationship with Nike has come to an end. Ultimately, where one story ends, another begins and adidas Football is looking to be the perfect inertia to place this Hurricane back into familiar territory.
With that in mind, Nice Kicks took a trip to South Florida as adidas happily “recruited” us to experience everything this new partnership has to offer.
Entering the newly built Schwartz Athletic Center built within the heart of the University of Miami campus, this innovative construct held some of the most prestigious trophies in college football history, such as two Heisman trophies and the ever so iconic 2001 BCS National Championship Crystal Ball — a title that many consider to be captured by of one of the greatest teams of all time.
It was evident within the early stages of campus tour that family is everything to this rather niche university totaling only 10,000 students. With the legacy of the Hurricane greats remaining in focus and canvassing the philanthropic pool of former alumni, it was time to get to work with a crucial member of the Hurricane family and that’s Head Football Trainer Andreu Swasey.
The Florida native and former collegiate football player put us through the ringer of a workout circuit that former UM alums Andre Johnson and Frank Gore embarked upon on only days prior. With the lightweight adidas ESM Energy Boost gracing our feet, this newest model provided crucial performance functionality as the Boost technology provided immense comfort, matched by cleated traction.
After working up a sweat, it was time for the field work. With history decorating the field in immense detail within the form of a 200-yard memorial shrine to all of the Miami Football All-Americans – this gridiron suddenly became a proverbial “Field of Dreams.” With the decorative “Snoop Lion” Uncaged cleat gracing my feet, and the new adizero 5-Star 4.0 being sported by Sid Ashford, the comfort and design allowed for maximum breathability and comfort within the Miami humidity. Employing the adidas’ SPRINTFRAME plate, these models incorporated a track-like upper with the consistent reinforcement seen within various football cleats of years past.
By the night, the most important aspect of the weekend was suddenly upon us as the newly cemented uniforms were to be unveiled. Taking place in the celebrated LIV nightclub within the Fountain Bleu hotel, the event suddenly blended the idea of the Miami night life with the collegiate atmosphere. Speaking candidly with the Director of Marketing for adidas Football, Jeremy Darlow, the author and marketing guru talked briefly about what made the University of Miami so attractive for adidas. “They are already one of the strongest brands in college sports,” said Darlow. “Secondly, Miami is one of the most beautiful cities in the country. And lastly, the University of Miami represents what we represent as a brand and that’s a perfect fit. From an adidas perspective, we fuse performance and culture, and there is no better school in the country that represents that idea than the University of Miami.”
With Don Cannon killing it on the 1’s and 2’s, along with a surprise performance from Pusha T, the adidas celebration of the new Miami Hurricanes uniforms was one of a kind as the illustrious sartorial combinations were on full celebration as confetti rained down upon the star studded crowd. Incorporating PrimeKnit technology and TECHFIT detailing, the new uniforms sported by the ‘Canes this Fall will ultimately be a fan favorite and have drawn rave reviews within social media forums.
While plenty of individuals still remained concerned over the transition to the Three Stripes for the University of Miami, there should’t be any apprehension at all. Speaking with Paul Murphy of adidas, during the height of the event at LIV, he redirected me towards a conversation he and I shared in Omaha, Nebraska in which family was a driving focus for adidas. With an alumni network like no other and the iconic lineage of The U, there are no other programs who build upon the impetus of family quite like the Hurricanes; subsequently providing a distinct commonality between the two entities.
So whether Mr. Murphy is incredibly fortuitous or simply understood what was coming, there is a new brand of Hurricane and that’s adidas Football.