Southern Miss Not Renewing Russell Athletic Deal; Stansbury Leading Georgia Tech To Nike?
Russell Athletic's last remaining partner at the collegiate level is Southern Miss, meaning it will "officially be out of the NCAA apparel business by this time next year," according to Jason Munz of the HATTIESBURG AMERICAN. Russell's deal with USM expires June 30, and AD Jon Gilbert said that he "expects the search for a new apparel provider will begin later this summer." Gilbert: "My hope is to go to one apparel provider across the board." Gilbert while at Tennessee in '15 "helped negotiate" the school's eight-year, $35M apparel deal with Nike. Gilbert said that USM and its coaches "have been pleased with Russell and the amount of product it has provided." But the company has been "actively pulling out of intercollegiate athletics." Recently it was announced Russell had "mutually parted ways" with Georgia Tech and Western Kentucky (HATTIESBURG AMERICAN, 7/2).
HELLUVA OF AN ENGINEER: In Atlanta, Ken Sugiura noted Univ. of North Carolina marketing professor Jonathan Jensen believes Nike is in Georgia Tech's future. GT AD Todd Stansbury during his stint as Oregon State AD was "part of the school's collaboration with Nike to help rebrand" its athletic department. Sugiura noted Adidas is also "believed to be making a strong push" for GT (MYAJC.com, 6/30).