Stillman is first HBCU brand to partner with international brand
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Stillman College Athletics has a new team member: New Balance.
The Tigers have aligned with the sports and lifestyle brand in an exclusive apparel and equipment agreement, marking the first such contract between New Balance and a Historically Black College (HBCU).
The five-year contract was announced Thursday, Feb. 17 on Stillman’s campus, where representatives from New Balance and supplier BSN SPORTS met with coaches, student-athletes and members of the college’s administration before attending the men’s and women’s Homecoming Week basketball games that night.
Stillman’s contract offers a variety of rebates, free promotional products, and performance incentives, and will include on-field and retail apparel. New Balance and BSN will soon begin outfitting Stillman’s six NAIA programs: baseball; men’s and women’s basketball; softball; track and field; and cross-country. Later this year, Stillman will bring online two additional programs: volleyball and bowling.
Terrance Whittle, director of athletics for Stillman College, said the deal is a “refreshing” boost to help the department expand its blueprint regionally and nationally.
“To have a major brand like New Balance gives us a pedigree in the market amongst other schools,” Whittle said, “especially others who are already solidified in their branding.
“Recruits will know what we’re wearing, what we promote and what we’re associated with,” he added. It will help keep our student-athletes and coaches excited.”
Talks between New Balance and Stillman began in mid-August 2021 and developed over the fall sports season. Quinton Cole, national team sales rep for New Balance and Morehouse College alumnus, was eager for the company to include an exclusive HBCU partnership in its refocused branding and target demographics.
“We are thrilled to partner with Stillman College and their storied athletics programs,” Cole said. “Stillman’s DNA fits perfect with the New Balance mission of not trying to be the biggest but being the best. We look forward to many years of thinking different and changing the game. We are very excited to take this next step alongside BSN SPORTS to outfit all the school’s teams and the surrounding community.”
Stillman Athletics’ deal with New Balance and BSN was announced less than a month after the department unveiled a new, robust suite of colors, logos and wordmarks.
Todd Northrop, vice president of BSN SPORTS Collegiate Selection Division, said that, on the heels of that branding overhaul, Stillman will have access to custom program branding tools and premier apparel and equipment to “enhance the student-athlete experience” and Stillman Athletics’ brand.
“It’s our goal to support our Collegiate Select Partners with tailored resources and tools that save coaches and staff time, so they can focus their attention on what they care about most – their student athletes,” Northrop said.
About Stillman College Athletics
Founded in 1876, Stillman College is a liberal arts institution with a historical and formal affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It is committed to fostering academic excellence, to providing opportunities for diverse populations, and to maintaining a strong tradition of preparing students for leadership and service by fostering experiential learning and community engagement designed to equip and empower Stillman’s students and its constituents. Stillman College Athletics has a rich history dating back to the 1920s, producing champions at the college and professional levels, including a Super Bowl champion and Olympic gold medalist. The Stillman College Tigers compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SCAC) within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). For more information, please visit www.stillman.edu and GoStillman.com.
About New Balance
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. Manufactured in the U.S. for over 75 years and representing a limited portion of our U.S. sales, New Balance Made U.S. is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70% or greater. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 6,000 associates around the globe, and in 2019 reported worldwide sales of $4.0 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit www.newbalance.com and for the latest press information please visit newbalance.newsmarket.com.
About BSN SPORTS
Dallas-based BSN SPORTS is the leading marketer, manufacturer and distributor of sporting goods apparel and equipment. A division of Varsity Brands, BSN SPORTS markets and distributes its products to over 100,000 institutional and team sports customers in colleges and universities, middle and high schools, and recreational programs throughout the United States via catalog, e-commerce, and direct sales. Focused on providing game changing solutions through local partnerships, multi-brand selection and one-stop shopping for equipment and uniforms, BSN SPORTS’ more than 3,000 employees have been helping elevate participation in team sports since 1972. For more information about BSN SPORTS please visit www.bsnsports.com.