Duquesne makes switch to Nike

Duquesne Athletic Director Dave Harper cannot help but smile as president Ken Gormley models a Nike jersey prototype. Photo credit: Duquesne Athletics/Dave DeNoma

Pittsburgh, PA— Duquesne announced late Thursday afternoon at the A.J. Palumbo Center that it will be switching brand apparel to Nike.

Duquesne’s athletic director David Harper announced at the seven minute announcement that the deal was for seven years. Duquesne had been with Adidas since 2007 when the university announced a 5-year partnership, an agreement which lasted almost another seven years.

Nike apparel and gear will be worn by all of Duquesne’s teams on campus.

“We are extremely excited and blessed to be partnering with Nike this coming fall,” Harper said in a press release. “Nike provides a comprehensive support platform to help our student-athletes and coaches as they strive to compete for championships. From the dynamic apparel, to recruiting, to positioning the Dukes brand in the marketplace, this partnership is a key strategic tool as we implement a robust and comprehensive strategy for Duquesne athletics. Our entire department is extremely appreciative to Nike for helping us chase our dreams.”

STAY TUNED: We have an exciting announcement at 4 pm today. Make sure to tune in right here!

Posted by GoDuquesne on Thursday, April 20, 2017

This move was widely expected when murmurs of this switch began with the Adidas closeout sale on campus in which game used and practice gear for Duquesne’s men’s basketball and football teams were sold over the course of two days.

While each team will be now wearing the infamous swoosh, both Duquesne’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will be wearing gear from LeBron James.

Not to mention, Keith Dambrot’s hiring from Akron does not just bring a new start to the men’s basketball team but also brought the possibility of Duquesne becoming a “LeBron school”. There are just two other schools which also wear James’s brand of Nike, Akron and Ohio State.

“I am excited to begin this partnership with Duquesne University athletics,” said Senior Director of NIKE Basketball Sports Marketing Eric Lautenbach in the statement. “We look forward to seeing the Nike swoosh on Duquesne student-athletes and coaches as they compete on the courts and fields of play. We also look forward to continuing our long standing relationship with coach Dambrot as he takes over Dukes basketball and brings his fantastic coaching and leadership skills to Duquesne.”

The announcement was met with an attendance of students, student-athletes, coaches and Duquesne fans.

“The Nike name has great appeal among recruits – it is clearly the brand they want to wear and be associated with,” Duquesne men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot said. “Nike has earned its reputation as the world’s premier athletics apparel and shoe company and its great to have a partnership with them. From first-hand experience, I can ensure that the association is going to be great for Duquesne athletics.”

Harper made his opening remarks before a video played on the Palumbo Center scoreboard modeling basic Nike uniforms for each team. Harper prefaced the video by stating the final designs were still very much a work in progress and something that would help.

The event concluded with a fashion show of sorts as various athletes from different teams modeled these introductory Nike uniforms for the crowd. Everyone in attendance was given a Duquesne Nike shirt after the brief event.

It was easy to tell the event was a success and brought excitement to fans, and each team knowing this information is official.

“Nike is the preeminent industry leader in innovative technology for high-level athletes,” Duquesne women’s basketball coach Dan Burt said. “The quality of engineering and brand positioning of Nike to the buzz surrounding their shoes, gear and other equipment is important when recruiting at the highest level. The Duquesne women’s basketball team is very excited to be wearing the Nike swoosh.”

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