For the next five years, Mercer Athletics will join the ranks of programs like Michigan and Nebraska in being sponsored by international corporation Adidas America. All 16 intercollegiate sports will be sponsored by the company, and they will have apparel and footwear provided by them as well.
“We appreciate their willingness to supply our student-athletes and coaches with top flight products that will aid in their development and training, while also providing apparel to enhance the look and presence for our support staff,” Athletic Director Jim Cole told MercerBears.com.
New head football coach Bobby Lamb has worked with Adidas in the past, and he is excited about the future. Adidas America will be a selling point in his upcoming recruiting blitz that will take him through the states of Ga. and Fla. as he attempts to sign a 40- to 45-person recruiting class. He was very optimistic and called it “great sports apparel.”
As for the rest of the department, men’s soccer, men’s basketball, and volleyball all already used Adidas products, so the rest of the athletic department will be sure to see the benefit of the products to organizations that have done well in the past few years. Daniel Tate is the assistant athletics director for marketing for Mercer, and he was the broker behind the deal. He believes in far-reaching benefits for the entire athletics department.
In Mercer’s effort to create a brand for themselves, Tate told the Mercer Bears website that he believes this will help brand and build a consistent identity. “There is also a certain ‘credibility’ that is added when a worldwide company such as Adidas is willing to put its name side-by-side with yours. That association will help us market Mercer Athletics in the future and could open the door to many other opportunities,” Tate said.
Mercer is the only team in the Atlantic Sun who will have a deal with Adidas, once again showing Mercer’s leadership. In 2013, Mercer will be one of just two squads (Drake University is the other) in the Pioneer Football League to wear Adidas products. This type of exposure and linearity will boost the Mercer name. When style and substance combine, the building of the football program will be benefited, according to Coach Lamb. Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Hoffman seconded this, saying that the results have been nothing but positive.
Adidas is definitely going to help Mercer along its way to success and winning more Atlantic Sun championships. This is the first time the university has had a deal that stretches across the entire athletic department.