Big changes coming for Georgia Tech uniforms and apparel
ATLANTA -- Todd Stansbury had just been hired by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. He hadn't even started the job yet, and he was already thinking of how to improve the Yellow Jackets' brand.
When he stepped onto the Atlanta campus, it instantly became his top priority.
On Tuesday, exactly 11 months after getting hired at Georgia Tech, Stansbury and the athletics department revealed it will become partners with Adidas beginning in July 2018 for the program's jerseys and team apparel.
"This was definitely at the top of the list, especially as one of the things I’ve said along the way is that the refinement and the elevation of the Georgia Tech Athletics brand was one of my top priorities," Stansbury said. "Probably the day after I was announced and well before I ever started my first day, we were honed in on what we were going to do and had started conversations with Adidas on how we could make this happen."
Georgia Tech had been partners with Russell Athletic for 25 years. But Russell's brand has lacked the style and swagger that top athletic companies have brought to college teams.
Oregon seems to get a new flashy uniform each week with Nike. North Carolina found the ceiling (which is the roof) with Michael Jordan brand apparel for all sports.
Tech always seems to be in the shadow of the University of Georgia in Athens when it comes to athletics. Stansbury felt like the program could do more to help provide for its student athletes.
"Our priority is always the student athlete. So one is putting them in the best gear possible that gives them a competitive advantage," he said. "One is just the kind of gear went into this decision. The other part is making sure that we were providing our student athletes with what they need. I’m sure for some it will seem like Christmas, and we’re defiantly looking forward to getting to that point."
Football head coach Paul Johnson has long maintained the athletic programs don't always have the resources that they need compared to others. Tech is coming off one of its best fundraising years, raising $19 million, according to the school. It's a 25 percent increase from the 2015-16 fiscal year.
A new apparel deal may just be the beginning of Johnson getting his wish.
As for Adidas, they are selective in who they do business with. Georgia Tech is just the 11th power five school to partner with Adidas. Louisville and Miami are others in the ACC who partner with Adidas.
Jim Murphy, part of Adidas' NCAA marketing division, called the partnership an integration of the two brands.
"The marketing arm is really important. We talked about storytelling and not only our ability to reach the athletes but use that platform to reach the kids the community the alumni," Murphy said.
The partnership doesn't officially go into effect until July 1, 2018. It gives the Adidas creative team, which will be dedicated to Tech, time to continue designs.
Stansbury was looking for a team that would "refine the brand, escalate the brand, and we would work jointly to make sure that Georgia Tech and when you see that GT, you see that one color of gold-- that we will name tech gold-- you knew exactly who you were watching and what they stand for."