Adidas accepts responsibility for MSU’s vulgar warm-ups

Adidas has accepted responsibility for the offensive language directed at Ole Miss on new warm-up tops presented to the Mississippi State baseball team.

This from Logan Lowery.

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 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.



Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Baseball
  • Lee814

    I do not believe that Strickland or any other major MSU official knew about the design. However, I do find it hard to believe that no one at MSU approved the design before it was printed. They may have done so by looking at the main artwork and without paying real close attention to ever detail. Either way, it is a terrible oversight by someone at Adidas or MSU. Someone has knowledge of it, because the image did not create itself. If it was indeed all on Adidas, then MSU should immediately terminate their contract with Adidas. This would certainly be grounds for it.

  • Mantachie

    Ole miss sends a bus after the egg bowl to aid state. I am 100% for the rivalry. I like the way Freeze approaches it with class and integrity. Regardless of whose at fault, the way State has intensified the rivalry with some of Mullins statements makes you question the intent of all of States sports across the board

  • UMBBFan

    If it did not say something vulgar about Ole Miss, what self respecting school beneath us fan would buy that horrendously ugly shirt? Adidas should also apologize for making something so ugly and tacky. What does it say about Miss State that they thought that shirt would sell? Hope your daughter does not buy one PA, even if they clean it up.

  • Parrish Alford

    UMBB, I can guarantee you my daughter won’t buy one, but she wouldn’t buy an Ole Miss shirt either if she attended school in Oxford. She has no interest in athletics, none. I agree with Mantachie’s assessment of the rivalry. I think it’s possible that a mid-level MSU employee saw this before the shirts made their way out to the media opp. If so, that employee made a poor decision, but even then, it’s possible that an equipment employee working inside didn’t know there were reporters outside and that interviews were about to begin. I don’t believe this was a calculated effort, and I don’t believe it was approved at the high or highest levels. No school would voluntarily inflict this type of PR on itself. No institution of higher learning wants to be seen as endorsing that type of language. As I mentioned Friday, Adidas should apologize to Ole Miss. MSU suffered some embarrassment that has/will blow over. It’s Ole Miss to which the Adidas product spew the vulgarity.

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