It has been nine days since ASU officially changed apparel companies from Nike to Adidas. And while the school has been slow to roll out uniforms and design, it does not mean everybody's heads have not been racing to imagine what the Sun Devils will look like come fall.
We wanted to get our staff's opinion on what they would like to see out of the Adidas/ASU partnership, and let's just say they are passionate about ASU's look.
Question: What do you hope to see uniform wise from Adidas?
Shane Theodore: What I want to see out of the new ASU uniforms is for Adidas to take three or four of ASU's best uniforms from the Nike era and make them the staples of the new era. While with Nike ASU didn't repeat a uniform for the duration of an entire season. As much as I like diversity in uniforms, the constant mix-and-matching was way too much.
I say take the three full-color uniforms (Maroon Monsoon, Blackout, Whiteout) and put them in rotation for the new home uniforms. Put the enlarged fork on the side of the helmet for all three, including the blackout uniforms. The flame helmets were a cool concept executed less-than-perfectly. I prefer the enlarged fork.
As for road uniforms, instead of throwing out 800 different combinations of black/maroon/gold/white, I thought the gold and white uniforms that ASU wore for this past year's Territorial Cup were just spectacular. I never liked the idea of Sparky on the helmet but thought ASU pulled it off perfectly for that game. While I appreciate the event that is the Territorial Cup, those uniforms are too good to keep in play once a year. I'd like to see them used as the established road uniforms. Those gold threads with Sparky on the top would look superb in a nationally-televised game at the Coliseum or Auzten Stadium.
As ASU's rivalry game, the Territorial Cup deserves special attention from Adidas. I loved the Desert Fuel that was brought out this past season, and think that keeping them as a designated uniform for the UA games would make it that more special. Because of the uniform's roots as a means of paying homage to the state, what better than to have both schools use their copper unis in the yearly spectacle that is the Territorial Cup.
Basketball needs a total revamping, there's just nothing in these uniforms worth keeping. The weird net silhouette has got to go too. I'd like to see ASU being used on the front of the jersey more than Arizona State, as the latter provides for less flexibility in design. Switch to ASU, throw some gold as accents in each uniform and make the white jersey strictly for road games and we have a solid start. I'm much more interested in how Bobby Hurley revamps the program than I am the uniforms in which he'll do it in. As for baseball, the last season under Nike was flawless. All Adidas has to do for baseball is change that swoosh to a trefoil and they're good to go.
All in all, Nike did wonders for ASU's aesthetic brand, making it noticeable to young athletes growing out outside of Arizona as an initial introduction to Arizona State. Having a national brand leads to national recruiting opportunities, and nailing these new uniforms would do wonders for the next Sun Devil recruiting class. If Adidas perfects a small set of threads rather than mix-and-match every week, it'll go far towards creating an identity that recruits and fans can resonate with for years to come.
Kaelen Jones: As far as uniforms are concerned, I'd like to see some more flashiness.
I agree with Shane--a national brand leads to national recruiting opportunities. Just look at Oregon and Nike and what they've been able to establish in Eugene over the course of the last few seasons. If you're not discussing their top-tier athletes and program, you're talking about their uniforms. ASU's regular mix-and-matching of jerseys provided us with an anticipation to see what they would wear every week, but at the end of the day the jerseys were too dull, for me at least.
Piggybacking off of the idea of having the school's primary scheme serve as a foundational template, I think Adidas should really look to work with ASU the same way Nike does with Oregon, and that would include bringing something unique, eye-popping and fresh that will appeal not only to audiences, but recruits, too. I wouldn't consider it too drastic for the football team to roll out a few jersey schemes that veer away from the traditional Sun Devils uniform at all, so long as it looks appealing. In my opinion, one simple way to do that is incorporate those white helmets more often.
When it's all said and done, I'm expecting Adidas to help ASU become one of those school's where if we're not discussing how great the team is, we're discussing how good the jerseys look.
Josh Nacion: I know I might anger some old-school fans here, but I believe this is a great time for ASU Football to test out a gold jersey. Through the several years I've been around ASU, I've never understood how the university embraces gold as its primary color, yet the football team doesn't have it as a uniform set. I know gold is a tough jersey color to pull off, but hey, look at Cal and West Virginia. As for the team's whole set, I hope Adidas doesn't change much. I've always been a fan of ASU's design and how many combinations were available. I'd be OK if it adds some UCLA-esque tire tread print, some minor, subtle three-stripes branding and just call it a day. Please keep the Desert Fuel threads for a special game each season and please keep hosting annual Blackout and Maroon Monsoon games.
Basketball is where ASU and Adidas have their biggest test. The ASU Nike basketball jerseys weren't terrible, but they were too simple considering what Nike was capable of making and could've been designed a lot better. I'm skeptical about adidas making basketball unis, as it's really fallen behind in this sport's market over the last several years. Looking at Adidas' work at other college basketball programs, I really can't envision how ASU Adidas basketball jerseys would look. Making something similar to Wisconsin and Michigan's uniforms would be a great start, but with ASU-exclusive branding. My only wish is that Adidas doesn't force ASU to wear sleeved jerseys and be part of that horrible cummerbund line Adidas tried with all of its top programs last year. Both sadly seem inevitable, though.
Check back tomorrow to see what the rest of our staff has to say.