UM, adidas Unveil Celebration of Black Culture Uniforms
PORTLAND, ORE. – In celebration of Black History Month, adidas today unveiled a collection of NCAA uniforms inspired by the creativity, passion and expression of the early 20th century’s Harlem Renaissance. Throughout the month of February, all adidas Power 5 conference NCAA men’s and women’s basketball teams will wear a head-to-toe uniform inspired by the ballrooms of that era, including Arizona State University, Rutgers University, North Carolina State University, University of Miami, Mississippi State University, University of Louisville, University of Kansas, Indiana University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Texas A&M University, and Georgia Tech. The collection will make its on-court debut when the University of Miami, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Texas A&M take on their various opponents this Saturday, February 2nd.
Considered one of the most influential movements in African American history, the Harlem Renaissance was a creative movement that kindled a new cultural identity. In this era, the Renaissance ballroom became a place that epitomized basketball culture as local teams perfected their game on the same wooden floors that were also used for ballroom dance events and jazz shows. Together, the Harlem community infused their spirit of dance & sport within their day to day lives, and created an indisputable marriage between music, culture, and the game.
Inspired by the wooden floors of the ballrooms where basketball became culture, each adidas team jersey also includes patterns which mimic the fabrics and prints of the 1920s that became a means of self-expression and community pride. Each uniform features a unique bean stitch texture around the team name, the word “BALLROOM” on the inner waistband of each short, and a “Celebrating Black Culture” patch. The collection also includes a series corresponding footwear silhouettes which echo the colors of the jazz ballrooms so important to the era. Each detail is meant to be an homage to the art, poetry, sounds and sport of the Renaissance, and to those driving their passion forward.
“At adidas, we created the Celebrating Black Culture program as a way of honoring our past throughout Black History Month, but also across the entire calendar year,” said Adam Laitsas, Senior Director for adidas Basketball in North America. “We firmly believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives, and we’re humbled to be able to celebrate these historical sport moments through the new Harlem Renaissance collection, and can’t wait to see each team wear these on-court.”
“We are honored to partner with adidas to celebrate Black History Month and recognize the enormous contributions of so many,” Miami Director of Athletics Blake James said. “Our men’s and women’s basketball teams will proudly wear these unique jerseys to send a message to the greater Miami community about the importance of diversity and inclusion.”
Both men’s and women’s basketball teams from each partner school will rock their unique jerseys in-game throughout the month of February, and the full uniforms from a select group of universities will be on sale on adidas.com beginning February 5th.
For more information, visit adidas.com/basketball and follow the conversation @adidashoops on Twitter and Instagram.