Under Armour has its first Ivy. At an event held Thursday in New York, the company unveiled three college football uniforms for the 2016-17 season, including the gear for Yale, Under Armour’s first Ivy League school with which it revealed a 10-year deal in January.
“It’s an honor to be part of it,” said Adam Clement, UA’s senior creative director, team sports, told ESPN’s Hannah Storm, who moderated the event. “It’s a school that has a global footprint, and it’s exciting to be a part of a historic game like the Harvard/Yale game.”
“Bringing a little bit of swag to the Ivy League is a good thing, too,” said Joshua Rattet, vice president of sports product for Under Armour. For the design, Rattet said they kept it “tame and smart.”
Under Armour also presented the new University of Wisconsin football uniform and Notre Dame’s uniform for this year’s Shamrock Series game, which will be played against Army.
For Wisconsin’s football uniform, the designers were inspired by the school’s progressive philosophy, incorporated design-wise via an upward arrow on the side of the jersey. The mandate from Notre Dame for its Shamrock Series uniform, which is worn for one game only, was to incorporate military appreciation in the design. Clement and Rattet pointed out that the military aspect was relevant not only because Notre Dame will play Army, but also because Notre Dame has a World War I memorial on the Sacred Heart Basilica’s east entry. The military ideas are reflected in the uniform’s deep WWI army green color. The designers also brought back Notre Dame’s tradition of hand-painting helmets. Each player’s helmet will be hand-painted by airbrush artists in gold.
Following Clement and Rattet’s presentation, Storm interviewed Jerian Grant of the Chicago Bulls and Stefon Diggs of the Minnesota Vikings. Diggs has had close ties to Under Armour since his time at University of Maryland. Grant is an alum of Notre Dame, and was one of the first athletes to play in the school’s Under Armour uniforms and footwear.
Diggs said he felt a special loyalty to Under Armour, which is based in Maryland, because he’s a Maryland native who also played college ball there. “We grew up wearing Under Armour,” he said. “That’s my home. You have to represent where you’re from.”
As for Grant, Storm asked what he and his teammates thought about Under Armour when it began outfitting Notre Dame. “We got a lot more excited about putting on stuff that was actually comfortable and actually looked good,” he said.
When Storm asked what Notre Dame’s basketball coach Mike Brey said about some of Under Armour’s more flashy shoes, Grant said, “He said they better make you play better.”