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Adidas Is All In

North Dakota inks deal with sports brand giant.

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Photo by Russell Hons/UND Athletics

For the first time in UND history, all sports programs will be wearing the same brand starting July 1, 2018. Adidas and the Fighting Hawks have signed a seven-year apparel contract and the anticipation is mounting.

“The three main benefits to a department-wide apparel agreement are branding, retail and financial,” Associate Athletic Director for External Operations Kyle Doperalski said. “The color of our green is different at our various licensees, which leads to confusion about what the correct shade of green actually is. Now all of our teams will be wearing the exact same green made in the exact same process. It will be seen not only in competition but also when our teams are traveling and in practice footage and videos. Branding is consistency and frequency and now we’ll be in the exact same color green all of the time, which will tighten our brand.”

“We’re excited for our fans to have a more robust selection of what our teams have over time.” – Kyle Doperalski, Associate Athletic Director for External Operations

Part of the branding process involves gear for fans to buy at retailers such as SCHEELS, the Sioux Shop and the UND Bookstore.

“Working with Adidas directly has been nice because their staff on the team service side is intertwined with their retail operation,” Doperalski added. “Our fans know our official brand is going to be Adidas. Supporters like to have the same stuff their favorite team has and that isn’t just limited to jerseys. We’re excited for our fans to have a more robust selection of what our teams have over time. We’ve had some Adidas football sideline apparel at retail in the past but the direct relationship streamlines the process.”

The financial aspect of the arrangement is also beneficial to the Fighting Hawks. The value of the contract is $1.345 million in free gear over the seven-year term of the contract. There are also incentives for programs that achieve certain levels of performance such as a conference or national championships.

“We had a mix of head coaches and athletics staff on the team who selected Adidas,” Doperalski said. “It has been really neat to see the entire department rally around this. Many programs that are transitioning from another brand to Adidas have already started ordering and using Adidas products. This move was a part of President Kennedy’s ‘One UND’ strategic plan and it is great to see it paying off even before the contract officially comes into play this summer. Adidas performance on the international and domestic markets are really doing well and we’re certainly excited to be a part of that.”

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The Fighting Hawks have a new logo and will now have a new department-wide apparel partner to go with it.

Point of Emphasis

  • The hockey team will wear CCM jerseys for one more season. The NHL uses Adidas, and the Fighting Hawks will join them before the 2019-20 season.
  • North Dakota will receive $1.345 million in free gear over the seven-year contract. Incentives are included for conference and national championships.
  • Adidas North Dakota gear will be available this summer at retailers across the region.

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