July 7, 2015 BY Yale Schalk / 0
Nike is returning to the University of Michigan as exclusive supplier of athletic footwear, apparel and equipment again, and they’re bringing Jordan Brand this time.
All 31 University of Michigan athletic programs will be decked out in the Swoosh logo, with the option, as the Nike press release states, to use “Jordan Brand “Jumpman” apparel and footwear for men’s and women’s basketball.”
In other words, Jordan Brand just scooped another major college hoops program to go with its already impressive roster that boasts the North Carolina Tar Heels, Georgetown Hoyas, California Golden Bears, Marquette Golden Eagles, Oakland Golden Grizzlies, and Fresno State Bulldogs.
The new deal begins August 1, 2016 when Michigan’s 2007 agreement with adidas expires, and will run through 2027 with the option to extend into 2031.
Nike and Michigan made pop culture history in the early 1990s when the “Fab 5” freshman lineup of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, and Ray Jackson took over the college game with their brash playing style and irreverent attitude. The Fab 5 are credited with pioneering the use of black socks in basketball, pairing their Nike-branded cottons with premier Nike Basketball shoes like the Air Flight Huarache, Air Force Max, and Air Maestro. Along with their extra baggy shorts, which they petitioned then Michigan head coach Steve Fisher to allow them to wear, the Fab 5 created a style that effectively triggered a paradigm shift in basketball apparel trends on- and off-court.
No one can replicate the lightning in the bottle the Fab 5 created, but top college recruits may take a new look at turning the Michigan basketball program into a national powerhouse again. Make no mistake, players factor sponsorships into their commit process, and the allure of Michigan restarting its Nike run with Jordan Brand – a brand, by the way, currently exploring all-new heights of popularity – has real pull.
New Nike Michigan apparel will be available for purchase when the deal begins in August 2016. No word yet whether or not that will include Jumpman-branded gear.
Tags: Michigan Wolverines