Oklahoma’s brand gets a boost with Jordan partnership

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NORMAN, Okla. — A few weeks ago, Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley hinted that the Sooners were working with Nike on something new.

Thursday night, the revealing announcement came — Oklahoma will be the third college football team to wear the iconic “Jumpman” logo beginning in 2018.

North Carolina and Michigan were the first football programs to land the coveted logo. Michael Jordan is the Tar Heels’ most recognizable alum. Michigan has the richest apparel deal with Nike.

How did Oklahoma land the coveted logo?

It pays to be an iconic college brand and to have a powerful alum under Jumpman the flag. Former Oklahoma College Basketball Player of Year Blake Griffin, who is a Jordan Brand ambassador, came to Norman for the announcement on Thursday.

Griffin’s Los Angeles Clippers play in Oklahoma City on Friday. He joined Oklahoma men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger and women’s basketball coach Sherri Coale on Thursday. Both basketball programs will wear the logo and gear beginning next season.

As you can tell, the Sooners’ current basketball players were excited about the announcement. Check out Oklahoma basketball’s new Twitter logo.

Football recruits react to the announcement

Oklahoma’s football recruiting started going up over a year ago. Being a Jordan Brand school isn’t going to hurt. Recruits gave very favorable reactions to the news on Thursday.

The Sooners’ latest football commit, 4-star defensive Ronnie Perkins, sent out his approval.

T.J. Pledger, a 4-star running back who committed to Oklahoma nearly six months ago, made sure IMG Academy teammate 4-star cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles knew about the announcement.

The move to Jordan Brand gives Oklahoma something to offer to recruits other schools in the region lack. The Sooners are the only Big 12 program to receive the coveted deal. As of yet, there are no SEC schools under the Jordan flag.

Oklahoma is one of eight Big 12 schools that have an apparel contract with Nike. The only schools that don’t wear Nike are Kansas (adidas) and Texas Tech (Under Armor).

If the Sooners were searching for something to generate more buzz about the program, Thursday’s announcement fits the bill.

The Jordan Brand is Nike’s exclusive label in terms of shoes and apparel. The majority of NBA players wear Nike shoes, but only a select few get to wear the Air Jordans.

The Sooners are now part of that select few.

Oklahoma and Nike have deep roots

Nike became Oklahoma’s official apparel provider in 2004. The football program’s relation with the brand goes back to the 1980s.

The current deal, which began this year, paid Oklahoma a one-time bonus of $4 million when it was agreed to in 2014. Over the life of the seven-year contract, the Sooners receive an average of $5.2 million in cash, equipment and apparel.

If any changes to the contract were made due to the change in logo, they were not announced on Thursday.

The post Oklahoma’s brand gets a boost with Jordan partnership appeared first on Diehards.

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