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Volume 26 No. 228
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Adidas To Sponsor Fledgling CFB Alternative Pac Pro Football

Pacific Pro Football, the fledgling developmental league designed to be an alternative to college football, has signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with Adidas, making the brand the exclusive footwear and apparel supplier. As a founding partner of the league, which is targeting a summer '19 launch, Adidas will work with Pac Pro Football on the development and formation of the four-team league based in Southern California. Don Yee, Pac Pro's CEO and a longtime player agent whose clients include Tom Brady, said Adidas will be active in branding, marketing and uniform design. In addition to Adidas' influence, the inaugural sponsorship deal delivers a much-needed jolt of credibility for Pac Pro. "They will help us create many new jobs and a league that supports the proper development of football players," Yee said in a release. Adidas North America President Mark King: "We're always looking to create new and different things for the industry. ... We're providing innovative opportunities for aspiring professional athletes and creating new avenue for them to reach the pros." The pool of players in Pac Pro will be those who are not yet eligible for the NFL. Just how much of a threat this league will be to college football remains to be seen, but the opportunity to make, on average, $50,000 a year in the Pac Pro creates an interesting alternative to the college game, which pays student athletes in the form of a scholarship and a stipend in the $3,000-6,000 range. The deal comes at a time when Adidas' position in college football has shrunk in recent years. Adidas' college partnerships include Arizona State, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, N.C. State, Kansas, Indiana, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Rutgers, but it also has lost marquee schools like Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Tennessee and UCLA.