Big-time college athletic departments have been closely tied with different sportswear companies for a long time. Now, that process is filtering down to high school programs.
Bishop Heelan has recently finalized a deal to wear NIKE gear, exclusively. Over the next four years, the Crusaders will get new NIKE uniforms for all of their teams. You'll see the first new uniforms this fall, as the Heelan football team will get new pants and new white 'road' jerseys.
Heelan will get discounted prices on apparel, and their will be new NIKE signs at the football field and in the gym. The school is excited about their new partnership.
"You watch college football, college basketball, all the top schools, they're wearing NIKE and we have access to the exact same equipment," said principal Chris Bork. "We've been able to extend it to our junior teams, like our Sader teams. You run into the expense of setting up the original uniforms but I think once you get to the point that you're not buying uniforms as regularly, the payoffs and benefits are going to be really great for us."
Heelan was first approached by "Under Armour" but 1988 Heelan grad Jamie Martin, who is a corporate executive at NIKE, helped worked out a deal with his alma mater.
Athletes and other students can now buy Heelan gear through an on-like NIKE store, where apparel is discounted up to 40 percent.
The Crusaders have won recent state championship in football, basketball, baseball, volleyball and track, and that success helped seal the deal.
"Being that we've been very successful at the state level and been to a number of tournaments, I think that made us a very good school for them. Saturday morning when the paper comes out, they want NIKE gloves sticking out of the pile, NIKE shoes, NIKE socks. They want that NIKE swoosh on our backs and receivers as they go in for touchdowns. All of that plays into it."
Heelan plans to use some of the profits from their new agreement to purchase new bleachers for the student section at Memorial Field.
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