After being previously leaked by an unknown source earlier this year, Howard University and Jordan Brand have officially announced their 20-year athletic partnership. The new Jumpman uniforms will debut on Aug. 27 at Howard University’s Game Zero for football.
The brand, built by retired basketball player and business mogul Michael Jordan, has become a cultural staple in the Black community, and chose Howard University as the latest HBCU to outfit the iconic logo.
A press release from Jordan Brand expressed their excitement for the deal, “From current students and alumni to the Shaw neighborhood and communities all around the world that are impacted by the people of Howard University, how we pay homage to the broader community is as important as gaining recognition globally. This partnership with Howard is not only an investment in the organization, it is an investment in Black futures, inspired by basketball culture.”
The investment into HBCUs comes at an important time for Jordan Brand. According to Nike, from 2020, Micheal Jordan and the Jordan Brand will donate $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations “dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”
Sophomore honors biology major Bria Woodard has a special connection with the deal, being a Bison volleyball player, “Switching to Jordan will be huge for Howard. As an athlete, I cannot wait as we take this next step. Michael Jordan is legendary and it will be an honor to be a part of his brand. Especially being at an HBCU, it will be great to continue the legacy that Jordan created.”
Howard is not the first HBCU that Jordan Brand has partnered with. The brand began to gather collegiate sponsorship deals in 1997, partnering with North Carolina A&T State University, making it the first HBCU as one of the original three “Jordan schools” before the MEAC signed a group deal with Russell Athletic a few years later. Morehouse College also wears Jordan Brand Basketball uniforms.
The Howard Bison will also join the UNC Tarheels, UCLA Bruins, Michigan Wolverines, Georgetown Hoyas, Marquette Golden Eagles, San Diego State Aztecs, Houston Cougars, Oklahoma Sooners and Florida Gators in wearing the iconic “Jumpman” logo.
In a statement released from Howard University’s Office of the President, the Howard “community can expect the new-look Howard uniforms and athletic gear to feel both fresh and familiar. The revitalized aesthetic is befitting of the next era of Howard University while paying homage to our proud history.”
Howard ended their deal with the athletic brand Under Armour on June 30. The University also has a partnership with Golden State Warriors player Stephen Curry for the Bison golf team’s apparel and equipment, but that deal will not be affected by the new Jordan Brand partnership.
This story is ongoing and The Hilltop will continue to update as new information emerges.
Copy edited by Jasper Smith