Rutgers Athletics announces 6-year partnership with adidas
Rutgers Athletics is making the move from the swoosh to the stripes.
The University’s athletic department officially announced a partnership with adidas on Monday morning, confirming reports released last week. NJ Advance Media was the first to report the deal, which marks the end of a five-year collaboration with Nike that officially comes to a close on June 30.
The agreement will make the Herzogenaurach, Germany company the official athletic footwear, apparel and accessory brand of all 24 Scarlet Knight athletic programs beginning on July 1, 2017.
“Everyone here at Rutgers is excited to be partnering with adidas,” said Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs in a statement. “Our coaches and students know they will be getting outstanding apparel and equipment with which to compete. As important, adidas will bring unmatched service to our programs. We look forward to celebrating much success together, both on and off the field.”
The deal runs through the 2023-24 season, according to a release, but the terms of the contract have not been released.
The release went on to mention a further collaboration between adidas and Rutgers beyond the “strategic uniforms” it will make for the Knights to wear on the field and the court.
The University and apparel giant will “collaborate on marketing opportunities and the development and enhancement of the licensed retail landscape” on the New Brunswick campus.
"We are extremely excited about our new partnership with adidas,'' said head football coach Chris Ash in a press release. "We are committed to giving our student-athletes the best to help them on and off the field. Adidas is the perfect partner to outfit our players as they compete.''
Of the 24 head coaches at Rutgers, head men’s basketball coach Steve Pikiell may see the biggest change as a result of the deal.
In an era where apparel companies play a large role in the AAU summer circuit — which leads many high-profile players choosing schools based on the company they have apparel deals with — the move to adidas could create more difficulties on the recruiting trail for the first-year head coach.
Nonetheless, Pikiell is on board with the transition.
"Partnering with Adidas is the right move at the right time,” Pikiell said in a statement. “As we embark on this exciting new era under Pat Hobbs, our affiliation with this global leader will strengthen our brand locally, nationally and worldwide. Adidas’ track record of outfitting world-class athletes will be a strong asset as we work toward shared excellence. Those three stripes are synonymous with success. We are confident this relationship will help elevate our program and Rutgers Athletics."
The move may also impact Pikiell’s partner at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Head women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer has had a relationship with Nike even prior to the company partnering with Rutgers in 2012.
Nike named its second child development center — a 35,000 square foot facility that provides care and learning programs for nearly 300 children between the ages of six months and 5-years-old in Beaverton, Oregon — after Stringer in September of 2008.
Regardless, she praised the deal.
"Adidas is a globally known brand that is committed and enthusiastic about serving the Rutgers Athletics community,” Stringer said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing the innovative design for game and team apparel they have in store for the Scarlet Knights."