I’m not in marketing, and I don’t really know whether the “no such thing as bad publicity” adage is true. But if the point of the new Maryland football uniforms was to get people on cable talking about Maryland football, I’m willing to call them a massive and unqualified success.
Here, for example, is CNN interviewing Monte Durham, the fashion director, stylist and host of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress.” About Maryland football. CNN, if you hadn’t heard, doesn’t usually do segments about Maryland football.
“From a design standpoint, it’s very symmetrical,” Durham opined. “If you look at the helmet divided in half, it divides down onto the shoulder pads, so they do match hat to shoulder, so hey. And we’re getting close to my Three Fs, which are fit, fashion and fabric, so they’ve got a couple of those thrown in there....
“I think while this is totally out of the box, it is fun to see tis happening in a sports arena. You know, I’m used to seeing changes from the bride to the reception to the going-away outfit. Seems like they’re taking note of that and following suit a little bit.”
In other cable news developments, ESPN’s SportsNation ran multiple polls centered around Maryland’s uniform choice. The lead poll had more than 58,000 votes. A strong majority found the uniforms ugly, and also thought they were a bigger story than the Terps’ win. All publicity, etc.
Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon also devoted extensive minutes to the uniforms on PTI, asking which story was bigger, the win or the fashion.
“There’s no other story; Maryland’s winning doesn’t matter jack to people outside where we live,” Wilbon said. “These uniforms are so ugly, they’re brilliantly ugly, because this is going to set the agenda for what every school in America is going to do with their uniforms. They’re hideous, brilliantly hideous.”
“See, I don’t think they’re hideous at all,” Kornheiser said. “They’re great. Oregon’s uniforms are hideous; Maryland’s are beautiful.”
“Teams will scrap their uniforms for Saturday and call Kevin Plank,” Wilbon said. “Yes, they’re hideous, but this is the way we’re going to go.”
Oh, and they also talked about them on the “Today” show. When you get CNN, “Today” and PTI talking about your uniforms, you’ve won the day.