GREENVILLE, N.C. – The East Carolina University Department of Athletics has agreed to a 10-year exclusive partnership with the sports brand adidas beginning in July of 2016, according to an announcement by ECU Director of Athletics Jeff Compher. The Portland, Oregon-based company will be the official athletic footwear, apparel and accessory brand of the Pirates through the 2025-26 athletic season.
East Carolina will join Arizona State, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Texas A&M, and UCLA with a top-tier all-sport, multi-year partnership agreement which will allow the department to reallocate money previously spent on apparel to other areas, including the cost of attendance. adidas is the official uniform, footwear and apparel provider for more than 100 collegiate programs.
“I am very excited for our student-athletes, coaches, and our fans as the Pirates begin this new partnership with adidas,” Compher said. “I would like to thank our hard working staff and the leadership team at adidas for aggressively pursuing this partnership and long-term relationship. adidas is already nationally-recognized for their quality, service and leadership in collegiate athletics. Their desire to partner with ECU will accelerate the growth of our Pirate brand.”
The creative partnership with adidas is the next step for East Carolina in terms of brand recognition and national exposure as both have already been greatly enhanced with ECU’s 2014 entry into the American Athletic Conference and the league’s television contract with the ESPN family of networks.
“We’re excited about the direction of athletics at East Carolina University,” Director of NCAA Sports Marketing for adidas America Jim Murphy said. “Over the next ten years, we’ll outfit the Pirates in our newest and most innovative footwear, apparel and uniforms. Our mission is to help athletes perform better and we’re looking forward to bringing this winning attitude to all men’s and women’s athletics at ECU.”
The level of interest in East Carolina from various apparel companies made the selection process competitive. Representatives from adidas will be on campus in early November to consult with each team individually. East Carolina’s current contract with Nike will expire May 31, 2016.
“We appreciate all that Nike has done for ECU and we will continue to wear their products through June of next year,” Compher added.
adidas is a global designer, developer and marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to make all athletes better. As innovation and design leaders, adidas engineers the best in high-performance products to make athletes better, faster and stronger. adidas has marketing agreements with the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS).
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING …
ECU Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill
“We are looking forward to this partnership, especially one that aligns us closely with programs in the SEC, ACC, Big 10, Big 12 and Pac-12. The enhanced value for me is that adidas is equally excited about East Carolina and this agreement is very reflective of that. It also represents putting the needs of all ECU student-athletes and programs first, which is always our top priority. I'm also excited to see and be a part of an innovative design for our game and team apparel that will surely impact our recruiting process.”
ECU Head Baseball Coach Cliff Godwin
“I’m fired up and really excited that our university is one of 11 schools to have a national brand with adidas. Nike did a great job with us, but being a top-tier school that gets the most gear and equipment from adidas is very exciting for ECU Baseball and the future of our program.”
ECU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jeff Lebo
“We’re excited to have adidas partner with us at East Carolina. The long-term commitment they’ve made to us is going to be terrific, not only for men’s basketball, but for all of our sports as we move forward in The American. From an equipment standpoint for our players, being one of their top programs along with the likes of Indiana, Arizona State, UCLA, Nebraska, Louisville, Miami and Kansas is great for them and they’ll be excited about sporting that every day in practice and in games.”
ECU Head Women’s Basketball Coach Heather Macy
“This is an exciting day for our athletics department and ECU Women’s Basketball. I can’t thank Jeff Compher and his administration enough for the leadership they provide, and that is exhibited in this partnership with adidas. We will have all the apparel and footwear resources necessary as our program moves two feet forward.”