Russell out, Nike in for Hilltoppers
Western Kentucky University athletics will look different this upcoming season as an iconic “Swoosh” will don the Hilltoppers’ jerseys and gear. Around 5:30pm, WBKO's Chad Bishop reported that WKU's new apparel deal will be with Nike.
Nike will partner with and become WKU’s new apparel provider on July 1, 2017: the beginning of WKU’s fiscal year. The deal is expected to be for about 5 years and contract negotiations are in the works.
On Monday, April 24, 2017, Todd Stewart announced that WKU and its apparel partner – Russell Athletic (based in Bowling Green, KY) – had decided to mutually part ways: effective June 30, 2017. The partnership dated back to 2007 and recently included a 5 year extension that began June 1, 2016 for $3.5million. However, WKU’s brand has gained ground over the past few years due to the irrefutable success of each of its athletic programs.
With some teams, such as soccer, having already taken pictures for the upcoming season posters, it seems that WKU will ease into the new deal.
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Per a news release, Russell Athletic will still partner with WKU as an apparel licensee.
This story will continue to be updated.