YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — On July 1, Youngstown State University’s athletic department will enter into a five-year, $1 million contract with BSN Sports to supply all YSU teams with game-day Nike apparel.
All of YSU’s 19 intercollegiate teams have been with Nike, except soccer, which had an agreement with Under Armor – also through BSN Sports. A manufacturer and distributor of athletic apparel and equipment, BSN serves middle schools, high schools, and colleges nationwide.
“I think it’s great on a branding level, especially for recruiting when you’re going out to see kids. A lot of kids see this swish and they want to wear the swish,” said Steve Pinciaro, director of athletic activities at YSU. “I think it’s great for our department. It’s great for our kids. It’s great for our brand to bring Nike to college.
YSU Athletic Director Ron Strollo points out that Nike is a strong brand, but Under Armor also had a recognizable name.
“It’s obviously nice to work with one supplier and have all of our student-athletes kind of wear the same brand,” he said. “I think it benefits us.”
To ease the contract transition, Nike has agreed to provide approximately $200,000 worth of free game uniforms for the upcoming season, Strollo said.
Additionally, YSU has the opportunity four times a year to offer everyone on campus a 45% discount on Nike apparel through the BSN website. Normally the discount is 20%.
Under the previous agreement, YSU would order equipment through BSN and collect promotional dollars at the end of the fiscal year, June 30, Pinciaro said. This money could be used in the next fiscal year at its retail value.
“We have an annual expense that we have to meet based on our budget,” he says. “The numbers that we submitted to them, anything over that annual percentage of expenses, we get 11% back for the department.”
The new contract for the Nike brand is for game day purposes only. Other brands may be worn during practices.
As for the football team, the Penguins can use Under Armor cleats, gloves, and other apparel for their practices. “As long as we show up on Saturday afternoon with a swish,” Pinciaro says.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.