Athletics Department Chooses Nike as Official Uniform Provider

When a 15 -year partnership with Adidas came to an end, the University of New Haven athletic department has switched teams and jumped on the Nike bandwagon.

The school’s athletic director, Chris Palmer, announced that the university has agreed, with the utilization of services like an esignature, to a five- year contract with the uniform giant. The contract includes a three- year phase-in period, which allows the department to phase out the old Adidas uniforms and gear, and slowly bring in Nike apparel.

When the three years are up, the department intends to have all teams outfitted in Nike apparel. Teams that were scheduled to receive new uniforms for the 2018/19 season will receive new Nike jerseys. The teams that were not scheduled to receive new uniforms will still don the Adidas. Each team will receive their Nike gear over the next three years. All athletic practice gear will be provided by Nike as soon as the upcoming fall season.  

This decision to switch was not all business. Palmer said he made sure that student athletes had a voice in what they were going to wear on the field.

“I took a survey of the student athletes and asked them what they liked,” Palmer said. “When the results came back, Nike came out number one, Adidas came out number two, and Under Armour came out three,” said Palmer. “We put everything out for bid to see who would come out with the best situation for our teams, and Nike came through with that.”

When it comes to uniforms, athletes want to look good because they believe they play better. This belief has played an intricate role in the world of college athletics as schools have gone to great lengths to design a good-looking uniform to attract talent. It is no different here at the University of New Haven.

“I think (the switch (to Nike) will help us with recruiting, I think a lot of kids like the Nike product,” said Palmer. “You’re always looking for an edge. If a prospective student is looking at two schools and they like Nike better than another product, we might have an edge on that.”

One unfortunate effect that comes from the decision is that Charger Nation fans will not be treated to any alternate or “throwback” uniforms as fans typically see from Nike schools.Palmer said that he wants to stick with what they have and will adjust over time.

It will an interesting five years for Charger Athletics as the department grows under the Nike umbrella. Now Charger fans will have no other choice but to “Just Do It.”