The Canadian Football League kicked off it’s new partnership with Adidas in style at a gala event held at Montreal’s Time Supper Club on Thursday evening.
In between the social media booths and celebrity DJ appearances (“Taboo” from the Black Eyed Peas? Nice!), the new team jerseys, helmets, and clothing line were all on hand for the many invited guests and players to check out up close and in person for themselves.
Naturally, I took advantage of this opportunity to examine the finer details of these new uniforms and to share them with you.
The jerseys are of top notch construction, most logos, numbers, wordmarks were embroidered directly into the jersey bucking a trend we’ve started to see elsewhere in the pro sports world. And, despite what many have assumed (Yes, I read all those Tweets you send me), these designs were not forced upon anyone by Adidas.
“We leave it up to the teams, and it was up to them to decide what they wanted to do,” CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge told SportsLogos.Net, “but the direction was there in doing something new and different because we’ve got a new partner and Adidas is world renowned as being the best in class at what they do.”
Orridge added that he is “very excited, it’s a new style, new look, new season, new era for us and I think Adidas is the perfect partner”.
While most teams kept it close to what they wore last season, the BC Lions made a complete change to their uniform set (more on the Lions new look here):
A bold new look for the Lions, featuring that interesting new helmet (uniform fans may related it to the USFL’s Michigan Panthers from the 1980s). A patch goes on the back of the jersey below the player numbers, embroidered, and those numbers themselves have a sublimated gradient-esque pattern on them, both on the front and back. Detailed shots above.
The Alouettes changed nothing, the only team not to make any changes whatsoever, not even moving away from the screenprinted wordmark.
“We wanted to go with tradition, I think our fans like our uniforms, we’ve got a real nice mix of the red, white, and blue which has been the tradition of our club over decades”, Als President and CEO Mark Weightman said in a chat with us. “It’s a little unique with the white stripes down the shoulders vertically that no other uniform has, very reminiscent of the ’70s jerseys which was the dynasty for the Alouettes, so we felt very good about what we had and the only way to create real tradition is to keep something unchanged for a long time. We felt strongly about that.”
So does this mean we’ll never see a change for Montreal’s football club?
“Never say never, but it’s not currently in any of our plans”
A more recent trend is to have players weigh in on the design of uniforms, sometimes it works well, mostly not so well (*cough* Diamondbacks). So, did the CFL or Adidas discuss uniform design with any of the players that would be wearing them?
Commissioner Orridge told us the teams were left in charge and may have consulted with some players as a part of that process, so we asked a couple of the players who were at the event.
Montreal kicker Boris Bede: “I didn’t have any input but some may have”
Alright, how about 2015 East Final hero and posterboy for the event, Ottawa RedBlacks WR Greg Ellingson?
“Zero. Zero amount of input.”
Okay, so this is not necessarily a bad thing (must I bring up the Diamondbacks again?), afterall the general consensus is that overall uniform design of the league has been upgraded significantly for 2016.
Ellingson did add that he was a fan of the RedBlacks placing the #RNation hashtag on their uniform pants, “It’s cool, it’s ‘RNation’, that’s what we stand behind as a team and as a community in Ottawa. As a player we look to the fanbase to give us support and strength to give us the extra energy during games. So now whether we’re at home or on the road we have RNation with us”.
A new clothing line was also launched during the event, the Adidas CFL Lifestyle collection features new gear for each team in the league. Available for sale already on the CFL Shop (good news, US-based CFL fans, shipping is now available to your country)
You can check out the new CFL Lifestyle collection as well as all the new jerseys for sale here. And check out our earlier comprehensive coverage of every new team uniform here.