Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Hawks Go Adidas

I grew up knowing the University of North Dakota's sports teams as the Fighting Sioux. I understand that changes had to be made to be respectful towards entire communities of people, but the Fighting Hawks name still doesn't sound right to me. Nevertheless, I am willing to change with the times despite my Fighting Sioux ball caps I still wear. However, there was a major change with the Fighting Hawks today as they moved to a new jersey manufacturer in adidas for the first time in the school's history.

The Hawks last made a change three years ago when the officially changed the team name and reflected that on their uniforms by simply using "North Dakota" on their uniforms. The Fighting Hawks logo was also added at that time, so the actual design of the jerseys as far as the school's name and logo is largely unchanged. When it comes to branding, allowing a logo to stand the test of time is always better than not.

The changes seen today on the adidas uniforms above are mostly colour swaps and striping changes. The green uniform went from a white-black-white stripe on the sleeves to adding green in the middle and being surrounded by white and black. The white piping on the green uniform that separated the jersey and the shoulder yoke is also removed. Perhaps it's just the lighting, but that green on the new adidas jerseys seems a little more subdued as well when it could be argued that North Dakota had one of the nicest jerseys in hockey with that bolder green shown to the right in this writer's opinion.

The white jerseys are nearly the same as last season's look as the striping has only changed in size rather than in colour or pattern. The white jersey also ditched the shoulder yoke piping. The clean and crisp look of the white jerseys that North Dakota wears can't be understated - these are rather amazing when you see the team on the ice. I cannot understate how good white jerseys look, especially for the home team. The fact that North Dakota left their home uniform virtually unchanged is the smartest fashion design move they've made.

And then we come to the black uniform that North Dakota claims is their "lucky" jersey and is only worn for big or important games. If you know me, I dislike all black alternate uniforms when the colour isn't an actual colour in the team's scheme, and I'll double-down with North Dakota's black jersey with having a green uniform as beautiful as it is. However, history seems to have the upper-hand on me here. As written by Brad Schlossman in the Grand Forks Herald,
The black jersey, which UND has traditionally worn for big or must-win games, is more solid black than the most recent version. UND has removed the green shoulders and the striping across the bottom.

It now looks much more like the version UND started wearing in 2006-07, when the black jerseys became the team's good-luck charm. UND repeatedly won in that black jersey and wore it all the way to the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals, where it lost to Boston College. That jersey was provided by Nike.
With Schlossman highlighting the changes to the black jersey, I have to give this new alternate uniform a thumbs-down as they took more colour off it. Honestly, the black uniform shown at the start of this section looks great with that sharp green. Now it's gone. And I'm disappointed.

Overall, there aren't massive changes to any of the uniforms with adidas becoming the outfitter for the University of North Dakota. As the apparel company gets deeper and deeper into hockey, expect to see more teams being outfitted in adidas uniforms than not. If the transitions result in very little changing to the over aesthetic of the team's look, adidas is doing things right.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

No comments: