words & images // Nick DePaula:
Since switching to an adidas sponsorship two seasons ago, Miami has quickly emerged as one of the brand’s key college basketball programs. The U’s 12-year partnership with adidas not only made it one of the highest value college sponsorships, projected to be worth more than $90 Million during the course of the agreement, but also guaranteed the school exclusive footwear, apparel and ample additional marketing exposure.
For this year’s NCAA tournament, the Hurricanes will have the option to lace up two different versions of Damian Lillard’s latest signature sneaker, the adidas Dame 3. Each pair is styled in the school’s longtime shades of green and orange, with additional details throughout drafting from the Coral Gables-based university.
“The midsole graphic was inspired by a Doppler radar weather pattern during a hurricane,” explains Alex Zerzan, adidas Basketball product manager. “It’s always a great opportunity to work with a school with such a uniquely recognizable and historic identity.”
In addition to the sneakers, the school is also donning a new set of jerseys just for March, linking to the themes also seen in the footwear. Miami’s shorts incorporate a hurricane print onto the side panels, while the inner neckline also features the school’s primary social media hashtag, #ItsAllAboutTheU.
“The more things that come in that are customized, the more excited these guys get,” beams Chris Caputo, Miami Associate Head Coach. “The players love the idea that we get so many options in our color scheme. They appreciate the way adidas has treated us.”
As the partnership continues to grow over the next decade, The U is expected to even further deepen its relationship with adidas. “There are few Universities that have as much swagger as Miami, and we feel very fortunate that we get to create shoes and stories like this using their unique and iconic color palette,” closes Zerzan.
For Dame, who starred at mid-major Weber State, having his own shoe now featured on the major March Madness platform is a special feeling.
“I never made the NCAA Tournament in college, but now so many college players and teams are wearing my shoes,” says Lillard. “It’s a great feeling – I made it again.”
Check out the Canes’ exclusive adidas Dame 3s below in detail, and stay tuned for more March Madness coverage all tournament.