Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) and Nike, Inc. announced an epic partnership on Thursday, making the athletic apparel company the official outfitter and equipment provider for the historically Black college and university (HBCU).
— Florida A&M Athletics (@FAMUAthletics) March 4, 2021
Reactions from fellow FAMU Rattlers and their supporters were justifiably hyped.
— ByrdBih (@DatBoiByrd813) March 5, 2021
Let’s go pic.twitter.com/GtpZYpgTYZ
— Pluto 👨🏿🚀🚀💰 (@NoDaysOff_J) March 4, 2021
Love to see it. I know the gear will be 🔥
— Mike 🇵🇷 🇺🇸 (@mike_h1990) March 4, 2021
According to the contract, the six-year deal includes “official athletic footwear, apparel and equipment,” which takes effect on July 1.
The press release also disclosed an option for a two-year extension. But no details regarding the payout have been revealed.
The Tallahassee- based university’s pride was showing as the Vice President and Director of Athletics Kortne Gosha spoke about what the partnership meant to the Rattlers.
“FAMU is an elite institution with a rich tradition of first, and our student-athletes deserve a student-athlete experience that is second to none,” Gosha said. “As we transition into a new athletic conference and the opportunity to engage apparel partners, the 23-year relationship with Nike and their commitment to culture, diversity, inclusion and innovation has never been clearer.”
Gosha continued, “My executive team and I are focused on setting a new standard, and our top priority is to align with the best quality and most innovative products, brands and resources that position our student-athletes and coaches to compete for championships.”
He explained that the alliance is a gamechanger for the No.1 public HBCU.
“This partnership allowed us to reimagine, challenge the norms of our industry and be the model for leveling the playing field with the most significant investment in the American Jewels known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities by any footwear and apparel company,” he concluded.
FAMU “has produced some of the most significant trailblazers in American sports” including tennis legend Althea Gibson, Olympic gold medalist “Bullet” Bob Hayes, and football greats Ken Riley and Jake Gaither.
The institution’s 14 sports programs and its notable marching band– The Marching 100, will rock Nike on and off the field. The HBCU’s sports teams will don LeBron James uniforms, including kicks and clothes with a specially-created design for The Rattlers.
James gave FAMU a shout-out on Twitter as he rocked the brightly-colored sneakers on March 3.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 3, 2021
Nike’s Vice President of League Partnerships for North America, Sonja Henning, weighed in on the company’s partnership with FAMU.
“Florida A&M has a rich tradition of excellence on the court and field, which not only includes athletic success but equally important is academics, preparation for future careers and community engagement,” she said.
“Through our continued relationship with Florida A&M Athletics, we’ll have the opportunity to partner with some of the country’s preeminent student-athletes and the next generation of leaders.”
The alliance between FAMU and Nike doesn’t stop at providing apparel for the HBCU. Nike will also support the university’s sports programs by offering student-athlete development opportunities, internships and networking events for FAMU students.