By Justin Chapman
It's official: Taylor Athletics is all Nike. Any part of a Trojan uniform from football to tennis will be represented by the Nike brand.
The contract between Taylor and Nike affects one of Taylor's newest programs: lacrosse. While Taylor still buys equipment through BSN Sports, Nike will be the sole brand they buy.
"In the past, coaches could choose from any of their products - Under Armor, Nike - you name it," Athletics Director Kyle Gould said. "A couple years ago, Nike (had) a deal they do through BSN. Essentially, we're getting things at huge discounts, and we agree to be exclusively Nike and then they provide us with marketing materials."
The contract is a three-year long contract and year one is almost over. However, there are exceptions within the contract.
Teams such as tennis, cross country and track are allowed to wear shoes other than Nike for contests. This is because athletes in these sports prefer other shoes that help them perform at a higher level. Athletes can wear whatever brand they would like in practices as well.
Lacrosse Head Coach Brad Bowser said all the Taylor coaches looked at either wearing solely Nike or Under Armor and the majority preferred Nike.
"It allows our colors to be uniform from sport to sport; it allows our logos to be uniform from sport to sport," Gould said. "Nike is a recognizable brand and our teams like wearing it."
Taylor going all Nike saves the university money as every purchase is discounted since it is agreed Taylor only buys Nike apparel. Additionally, the more Taylor spends on gear, the more money they receive back through BSN to spend however Taylor likes.
Gould said when he receives the money back, he spreads the money out to each team for the coaches to spend in whatever capacity they want.
One way the lacrosse program cuts costs was using some money to lower the price of team sweatshirts and sweatpants. Most teams offer gear for the athletes to purchase. With the help of the new contract, prices were cut down and apparel was more affordable.
"It makes the most financial sense, it's also from a branding perspective," Gould said. "Nike's recognizable, they make great stuff, it's good looking (and) athletes like it."