Adidas has accepted responsibility for the offensive language directed at Ole Miss on new warm-up tops presented to the Mississippi State baseball team.
Headquartered in Portland, Adidas issued this apology :
“We apologize to Mississippi State, their student-athletes, fans and alumni for this error. The Bulldogs’ baselayer graphic today featured old artwork that was never presented to the university. This graphic does not reflect our brand values nor those of Mississippi State. We take full responsibility for this error and wish Mississippi State the best of luck during Super Bulldog Weekend.”
Adidas has a business relationship with Mississippi State and was no doubt horrified by Thursday’s events.
The statement does not say any Adidas employee was disciplined in any manner.
I don’t doubt that MSU was completely in the dark on this. No one would inflict this PR disaster voluntarily.
It will be interesting to see if this affects Adidas business with MSU and other schools.
Ole Miss is a Nike school and signed a seven-year extension with Nike in January of 2012.
I figure new gear arriving is not an unusual occurrence for most big sports in power five conferences. It’s not a stretch to see boxes opened and shirts passed around without a great deal of inspection. You shouldn’t have to look for vulgar phrases on your clothing.
Here’s some info from SaturdayDownSouth.com a year ago talking about apparel contracts and SEC schools.
While the MSU baseball program didn’t inspect its baseball tops before modeling the question is who’s inspecting at Adidas? No one inspected this batch closely enough.
Logan says school officials appeared caught totally off guard at the media opp. Media were at first encouraged to take pictures. Then everyone realized what was on the shirts, and the tone changed.
Clearly the Adidas employee responsible for the phrase understands the intensity of the rivalry between the client, MSU, and its neighboring state rival.
Adidas has apologized to MSU. It should apologize to Ole Miss also.