By Devin Jones
In an effort to differentiate themselves amongst the sea of blue and white jerseys that have popped up amongst Ontario University Athletics (OUA), the Ryerson athletic department is switching up their partnership from Adidas to Nike.
Although the men’s basketball team has already been sporting Nike jerseys, it wasn’t a school initiative last season — instead coming from connections then-head coach Roy Rana had with the company. Now, athletics director Ivan Joseph has made the push for uniformity across the board.
“At this point it’s more of a switch in provider,” Joseph says. “You’re seeing a lot of blue and white, so for us it’s how do we be different? Which is the best company that offers different styles and cuts? One of the things we value here is being different than our peers.”
Although the switch from Adidas to Nike is a program wide shift, only the seven CIS teams — including basketball and volleyball — will be getting the jerseys according to associate athletic director Stephanie White. She went on to note that the jerseys “are open to other programs,” but that it also depends on their funding initiatives.
White was also not able to disclose the cost of the partnership stating, “I’m not allowed to give out details of the contracts, but I’d like to think it [the cost] is comparable [to Adidas].”
The partnership comes on the tail of the All-Star weekend in Toronto, in which Nike was a large sponsor. As a part of the weekend, Nike rebranded the lower gym with their new marketing ads as well as the classic swoosh and Just Do It tagline. As a part of the new partnership with the Rams, Joseph says the lower gym will be left with the ads in place, solidifying the new relationship.