Jordan Brand announces 20-year partnership with Howard University
The GIST: Jordan Brand is now officially outfitting Howard University’s student athletes. The Nike subsidiary announced a 20-year partnership with the school’s athletic department yesterday, aimed at deepening the impact of all Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on college sports. Legendary, indeed.
The details: The parties will collaborate on more than just uniforms, with the first set slated for an August 27th reveal. Jordan Brand has also committed to providing an assist to the university’s recruitment process, aiming to boost Bison experiences both athletically and academically.
- Both Howard and the Jumpman are seeking to increase HBCUs’ impact on global culture and Black excellence.
The context: HBCUs are notoriously and systemically underfunded compared to predominantly white institutions and, as a result, are overlooked in the college sports world — including the name, image and likeness (NIL) marketplace.
- Brands and other stakeholders are arguably leaving money on the table. A 2021 report valued untapped Black American consumer buying power at a cool $300 billion each year. Inclusivity will always win.
Zooming out: By design, the NIL era is about returning the massive sums of money in college sports back to the industry’s top laborers — the athletes. Jordan Brand’s deal with Howard takes the initiative to the natural next step by increasing opportunities for Bison athletes — and the athletic department — to finally realize their potential.
- Jordan Brand certainly isn’t alone. Adidas is extending NIL contracts to all Division I athletes at its partner institutions, but the rollout kicks off with HBCUs and Power Five schools.