Josh Pastner has been in Nike sneakers since he was playing for his father’s AAU team in Houston, through his college days at Arizona, then on the Wildcats staff, then in his eight years at Memphis (seven as head coach). When he came to Georgia Tech, he brought his Nike shoe contract, although he had to wear Russell Athletic apparel.
That relationship with Nike will come to an end next July, when Tech’s contract with Adidas goes into effect. Pastner chose to look ahead as he shared his optimism about Tech’s new apparel deal.
“(Nike and Russell) have been great partnerships, but moving forward, we’re totally pumped up and excited about Adidas,” Pastner said. “It’s been well received in the grassroots community.”
Pastner said that he had been receiving text messages from colleagues about Adidas.
“They like the shoes, the gear,” he said. “A lot of people in grassroots are really high on Adidas.”
Pastner’s excitement was shared by two other coaches at Tech, women’s basketball coach MaChelle Joseph and baseball coach Danny Hall.
Joseph said that Adidas has focused attention on top high-school players in the past five or six years, bringing them together for camps.
“I think the recognizable name and how well Adidas has treated them really helps us on the back end when we’re recruiting them,” Joseph said. “‘Oh, yeah, we wear Adidas.’ ‘Well, Adidas has treated me so great, and I’ve had an opportunity to do this with Adidas.’ I just think that, as far as the recruiting side, for us it’s a home run.”
Hall was something of an Adidas early adapter. Encouraged by former Tech players now in the professional ranks who wear the brand, Hall signed an equipment contract with Adidas last year for the 2017 season. His Yellow Jackets use Adidas cleats, helmets, batting gloves, catching gear and bats. The team had previously worn Mizuno cleats and had Rawlings equipment.
“We’ve been in it a year, and it’s been great and I’m excited that’s who ended up getting our business,” Hall said.
Hall raved about uniform concepts that Adidas has shown him, including a cream-colored uniform and a throwback look. Critically, he likes the bats, too.
“They have a testing area right there at the headquarters (in Portland, Ore.),” Hall said. “I think there’s five engineers in there. I almost thought I was sitting here at Georgia Tech.”