In a move that will continue Penn Athletics’ partnership with Nike, both sides recently agreed to a five-year contract through the 2025-26 athletic year.
Penn Athletics and Nike first began their relationship in 2009 when both the men’s and women’s basketball teams signed with the retailer. Then, in 2015, Nike became responsible for equipping a much larger slate of Penn's varsity sports, as the two parties signed an all-school contract.
The purpose behind that deal was to help unify Penn Athletics' image. This new deal appears to be for much the same reason, as well as tying the Quakers to a top-tier brand.
"We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Nike to outfit our student-athletes, coaches, and staff," Rudy Fuller, interim director of Athletics and Recreation, said via Penn Athletics. "As we begin to return to a new normal following this challenging past year, it is our intent to over-deliver on the student-athlete experience for our young men and women who have been so negatively impacted by the pandemic.
“Part of that goal is to continue to provide our student-athletes with the best footwear, apparel and accessories which Nike offers as the premier brand in this space."
As a result of the current agreement, Nike will continue to supply almost all of the apparel, athletic footwear, and various accessories for varsity Quaker teams.
However, not all of Penn's teams will be uniform in their Nike usage, as three separate contracts are currently in place with other brands that have yet to expire. These include deals with STX for men's and women's lacrosse, TYR for men's and women's swimming and diving, and Easton for baseball and softball.
Among the other Ivy League schools, Penn is not alone in its commitment to a massive sports retailer. Brown, Princeton, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Cornell all either have or have had similar deals with Nike, while Yale is currently midway through a 10-year, $16.5 million contract with Under Armour.
Given Nike’s standing as arguably the most household name in sports apparel, some of Penn’s coaches find that having an association with the brand actually aids in luring potential prospects.
“The shoes and the gear are fantastic and it really helps with recruiting,” Karin Corbett, head coach of Penn women’s lacrosse said via Penn Athletics. “Our current student-athletes are proud to be wearing Nike and representing our University.”
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