North Alabama athletics will soon get the chance to put the slogan “Impossible is nothing” to the test as UNA will change official outfitters from Russell Athletic to Adidas for all sports starting in fall 2017.
After wearing Russell Athletics branded attire for five seasons, the Lions have agreed to a five-year deal with Adidas. The deal includes uniforms and sideline apparel, cleats, jerseys, shoes and any merchandise for UNA athletics.
UNA Director of Athletics Mark Linder said Adidas will bring additional exposure to UNA through its globally-recognized brand.
“The opportunity should be limitless,” Linder said. “We chose Adidas for many reasons ranging from the opportunity to partner with a world-wide recognized brand, the amount of product provided by Adidas and the commitment to quality customer service.”
All 14 of UNA’s athletic teams will play in Adidas, Linder said.
The deal ranges up to $250,000 with bonuses for postseason accomplishments, said UNA Coordinator for Corporate Relations Brock Beck.
“Adidas presented us with a proposal that we could not refuse,” Beck said. “Adidas’ reputation in athletics along with apparel, in general, speaks for itself.”
UNA’s agreement with Russell Athletics ends June 30, so the Lions opened up a biding process to find its next athletic supplier. Linder said UNA received proposals from three different companies, but would not disclose the names of the other two companies.
Beck said UNA is excited for the chance to work with Adidas, and the Lions hope it will impact the student athletes positively moving forward when the Adidas deal begins.
The student athletes have reacted to the switch with “immense excitement”, Linder said.
Freshman volleyball defensive specialist Libby Jump said she thinks the move will be an improvement over the former outfitter.
“I think the move from Russell to Adidas is a great move for our athletic program,” Jump said. “I’m excited to explore a new brand because I know Adidas has made quality apparel that I have liked in the past.”
UNA football’s junior runningback Rae Beasley said the switch will enhance the persona of UNA Athletics amidst the upcoming transition to Division I-Football Championship Subdivision.
“The move to Adidas is long overdue when it comes to jerseys,” Beasley said. “Players want to look good on the field, and in turn when you look good, you play good. Adidas is also a great recruiting tool over Russell, so overall I love the move to certain more modern.”
Katelyn Nunley, a sophomore forward on the women’s basketball team, said she is also excited for the switch.
“There is no better feeling when you suit up in your uniform at the beginning of the season for the first time,” Nunley said. “Knowing we will be in brand new uniforms with the Adidas logo on our jerseys will be memorable and very special. I think we are going to have even more swagger about us too.”