For the past several years, the four major HBCU athletics conference have had agreements with Russell Athletic for apparel and NIKE for footwear.
Today, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced a multi-year agreement with NIKE to become the official apparel, accessory and equipment brand of the conference until 2020. This announcement officially confirms swirling rumors that Russell Athletic would not be renewed as apparel provider for the conference and its 13 member schools.
Howard University announced a partnership with Under Armour back in May around the same time that Florida A&M secured a three-year deal of its own with NIKE.
“Most of the conference moved to Nike,” FAMU Athletics Director Milton Overton told the Tallahassee Democrat. “Some of the conference members went to a different apparel company. I won’t necessarily say numbers. What I’ll say it was a 50-percent increase in value from Russell to Nike.”
Currently, the MEAC has a conference-wide footwear agreement with NIKE for all thirteen (13)-member institutions that began on Sept. 1, 2005 ending Aug. 31, 2020. The expanded apparel, accessory and equipment agreement will begin Sept. 1, 2016 with ten (10) institutions, Bethune-Cookman, Coppin State, Delaware State, Florida A&M, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T State, North Carolina Central, Savannah State, South Carolina State and the MEAC Office.
Hampton and Morgan State have not officially announced agreements.
In addition to the apparel arrangement, NIKE will also continue to provide summer internships to deserving MEAC student-athletes at the NIKE World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. and provide two (2) graduate scholarships annually for MEAC student-athletes attending graduate school.