This year Northwestern is switching uniform providers from Adidas to Under Armour. This could be good or it could be disastrous. Either way the is the most recent evidence that Northwestern is actively trying to improve their athletic department. As the B1G’s only private university Northwestern is at a competitive disadvantage. Years of apathy have left the Wildcats trailing the B1G in sports facilities. Thanks in part from the combined talents, enthusiasm, and commitment to Northwestern from NU AD Jim Phillips and football coach Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern’s athletic facilities have begun the process of entering modernity. However, Ryan Field still has miles to go before it can compete with other B1G stadiums. (Bathrooms would be a mighty step forward!) Under Armour’s new uniforms could act as a recruiting tool if they are iconic (or infamous) enough to garner national attention.
The “Reclaim the Stripe” motif is interesting and could be promising. The design manager in the video (above), Adam Clement, claims the stripes will be inspired by gothic architecture found within the Evanston campus. Taking cues for campus landmarks like the Deering Library may assist in endearing the university’s sports teams a campus notorious for their indifference.
Incorporating the ivy into the Wildcats’ uniforms is a promising detail, theoretically, as a nod to the quality of Northwestern’s academics, the campus architecture and the northside of Chicago’s best known sports complex, Wrigley Field. However, Under Armour does tend to be too busy in their designs for my taste.
Northwestern is the first program in the B1G to enter into a deal with Under Armour. How would you design Northwestern’s new football uniforms? What (if any) aspects of NU’s uniform are too traditional to alter? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below.