Cincinnati Embarrassingly Partners With Third-Party Apparel Company To Wear Nike Instead Of Partnering With Nike

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Cincinnati athletics will henceforth be wearing a new logo. Where the Bearcats have worn Under Armour since 2015, they will rock Nike moving forward.

However, Cincinnati did not partner with Nike. It went through a third-party apparel distributor.

Under Armour and the university reached a 10-year deal in 2015. As part of a larger cost-cutting overhaul for the Baltimore-based apparel company, they mutually agreed on a buyout in 2020.

Under Armour paid a $9.75 million exit fee to Cincinnati and provided $3.65 million worth of product through June 2021. And then the relationship ended entirely.

To try and bridge the gap between Under Armour and its next apparel partner, the school partnered with BSN Sports in 2021. BSN Sports is a nationally authorized apparel distributor based in Dallas.

Essentially, BSN Sports allows teams — no matter how big or small — to make custom Nike and Under Armour uniforms. High schools can use BSN to fit its athletic programs. Club sports teams can use BSN to create their own uniforms. Even Little League baseball teams can use BSN.

BSN Sports

From when Under Armour left in 2021 to today, Cincinnati used BSN Sports to continue to wear Under Armour as it negotiated its new apparel deal. On Wednesday it was announced that the Bearcats will no longer wear Under Armour. The university signed a new partnership and will wear Nike.

Except the new partnership isn’t with Nike. It’s with BSN Sports. Again.

The agreement marks Bearcats basketball’s (men’s and women’s) return to Jordan Brand, which they wore from 1997 to 2006, provided by BSN. Every other program will wear Nike, provided by BSN.

Now, to Cincinnati’s credit, going through BSN Sports was the quickest path to getting its teams in Nike and Jordan. That was a big priority for AD John Cunningham.

Still, though, the Bearcats are going through a third-party apparel distributor as if they aren’t members of a Power Five conference instead of signing a deal directly with an apparel company like the other 11 teams in the Big-12. Tough look.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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