Many universities around the country have apparel deals with giant brands like adidas, Under Armour, or Nike. On Thursday, Florida A&M announced a partnership that would last six years and see the school linked directly to Nike’s biggest athlete, LeBron James.
The HBCU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will sit be known as “Team LeBron” programs, with the King’s signature crown logo on all their gear as well as new, one-of-a-kind FAMU Rattlers LeBron sneakers. The deal was reported by Nick DePaula of ESPN.
Nike has signed a 6-year school-wide apparel contract with HBCU Florida A&M University for all 15 @FAMUAthletics sports.
— Nick DePaula (@NickDePaula) March 4, 2021
In a subsequent tweet, DePaula noted that Nike will increase its commitment to HBCUs as part of this deal, giving Florida A&M and other HBCU student-athletes access to development programs, internships and networking opportunities.
James, meanwhile, had previously teased that he had something in the works with the school after he wore these sneakers during a game.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 3, 2021
This is yet another prong to James’ commitment to HBCUs, as James gets ready to lead his team as a captain in this weekend’s NBA All-Star game, through which the NBA will donate $3 million in proceeds to HBCUs. Other NBA stars like Chris Paul and Steph Curry have over the past year doubled down on their financial support of HBCUs as a way to develop opportunities in Black communities around the country. Nike and James’ unique partnership with Florida A&M is yet another version of that support.