SBD/September 18, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Cornell Univ. Severs Contract With Adidas Due To Alleged Labor Abuses

There are currently no adidas products being sold at the Cornell Univ. store
Cornell Univ. "became the first university to sever its business contract with retail giant Adidas because of recent allegations of labor abuses," according to Sarah Sassoon of student newspaper the CORNELL DAILY SUN. School President David Skorton also announced on Friday that Cornell "will officially become a part of the Designated Suppliers Program." The DSP's website states that the program "requires University licensees to buy apparel from supplier factories that are 'in compliance with their obligation to respect the rights of their employees.'" Cornell Licensing Oversight Committee member Karen Li said that "as far as is known, Cornell is the second university to officially join DSP." Sasson noted Rutgers, the "first school to join DSP, became a member of the group a few months ago." Cornell’s contract with adidas was a licensing contract, which "gave the company the right to produce and sell apparel that bore the University logo in retail stores and online." But the "effects of the University severing ties with Adidas may not be visible on campus," as Cornell student store Dir Patricia Ann Wynn said that "no Adidas products are currently being sold at the Cornell store." Cornell Senior Dir of University Communications Mike Powers said that the end of the school's relationship with adidas "will also not have an economic impact on Cornell" (CORNELL DAILY SUN, 9/17). In Wisconsin, Todd Finkelmeyer notes the Univ. of Wisconsin "has been pondering a similar move for the past nine months." It will be "interesting to see whether other institutions follow Cornell's lead" (Madison CAPITAL TIMES, 9/18). 
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