Russell, HBCU Ink Marketing Deal

NEW YORK Russell Corp. has signed a five-year exclusive license under which the company will manufacture and sell the merchandise of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities for nine institutions from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, as well as for schools in a previously announced deal with the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and Southwestern Athletic Conference.

As part of the agreement, Russell will provide the conferences with royalties on the sales of apparel licensed through the institutions. Russell will also supply the institutions with uniforms, performance and casual apparel and athletic equipment. The deal was negotiated by New Vision Sports Properties, Oakland, Calif., which represents HBCU. Financial terms were not revealed.

Athletic programs from the three conferences included in the agreement are men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, football, baseball, softball and volleyball.

“This is a win-win for Russell and our participating institutions,” MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas said in a statement. “We are elated to know that a company of Russell’s stature understands the economic value of our universities. This kind of corporate partnership was long overdue and we respect Russell for taking the leadership position and having the financial vision and courage to execute it.”

—Brandweek staff report