Under Armour challenges our expectations with the launch of ARMOUR LIGHT college basketball uniforms.
As Barclays Center buzz builds, our excitement for hearing real balls bounce on the hardwood heightens. The new arena is making a play at being the new Big Apple home for college basketball, with NCAA action tipping-off officially, with the Barclays Center Classic, on November 9 when the Kentucky Wildcats battle the Maryland Terrapins.
"The expectation is for teams to come out in unique uniforms for big games," says Adam Clement, Under Armour's lead designer for uniforms, "We worked with the school to do something that showed the appreciation for sports in Brooklyn."
We expect Under Armour's to provide aggressive looks for Maryland. We're used to bold colors, bold graphics, and bold patterns. Today, the brand revealed a game changer—a new uniform that pays subtle homage to the Brooklyn Dodgers and the school's vintage, collegiate script.
We worked with the school to do something that showed the appreciation for sports in Brooklyn.
Even in an basketball setting, UA designs with 500 feet, 50 feet, and 5 feet as the key experiential markers. "Certainly you are a lot closer in a basketball arena," shares Clement, "but we still want the audience to have a different experience at those distances.We are still trying to keep that philosophy in place even though it is is a smaller venue."
From long distance, these Maryland uniforms appear similar to the gray alternative kits we've enjoyed throughout the sport over the past five years. Move closer, and the subtle nuances of the jersey are revealed. A sublimated gray flannel gives the ARMOUR LIGHT fabric a textured appearance, furthering the connection to '50s baseball wools. The lettering is drawn from an '80s-era Terps uniform, but adds the collegiate tail below to tie closer to the famous Dodgers uniform. Clement also notes that the off-place number of contrast color is another ode to the Dodgers. Consistency with other Maryland looks comes through the constant use of the "Maryflage" print and Maryland flag-inspired tapping around the neck, shoulders, and short seams. Again, these are small details you'll notice when the TV camera zooms on the player—the final 5 foot marker.
Experience isn't limited to Maryland's uniforms, evidenced by the other designs revealed today in Brooklyn. Auburn, Northwestern, Texas Tech, and Temple will also represent in new ARMOUR LIGHT uniforms. Northwestern's jersey connects directly to the school's football uniforms, the first UA design aimed at helping the school "reclaim the stripe."
Though Auburn's stripe doesn't have the same heritage as the Wildcat stripe, it nevertheless is inspiration for the Tiger's hoops uniforms this season. Clement he wanted to "tie the story of the football stripe to other sports and especially reinterpret it for basketball." The result is a faster look for the court, complimented by Tiger print in the jersey numbers.
Texas Tech, Clement notes, is a "program on the rise." Graphic cues are evident on the shorts, where lines rise from the hem to the waist. Clement has also privileged "TECH" which dominates the front of the jersey, the small "Texas" within only revealed when you see the player square up at the charity stripe.
All the uniforms feature the same technology—Under Armour's new ARMOUR LIGHT. The brand claims the jersey weighs the same as a tall coffee from Starbucks, 66 percent lighter than any previous UA uniform.