The department of athletics and recreation put pen to paper over the summer to sign an agreement with Nike for the apparel company to become the official outfitter of Waterloo Warriors apparel. </p>
The five-year agreement between the athletics department and T. Litzen Sports, the exclusive service provider for Nike Team in Canada, was made official June 8.
“There is no stronger brand recognition than Nike,” said Roly Webster, director of athletics and recreation. “Their brand recognition in the world is very strong and definitely so in the apparel world — it is probably the strongest amongst the athletic brands. The fact that we are able to align the Warrior brand with that only strengthens our own brand.”
You won’t immediately see all of the varsity teams in Nike apparel as designing and ordering uniforms takes time. The football and basketball teams already have Nike uniforms, and some sports, like rugby, will not be able to be equipped by Nike. Soccer, which is currently using Adidas uniforms, have had their new kits ordered and will transition to them once they arrive.
The partnership means Nike apparel beyond just the varsity teams. According to Webster, the apparel is for, “our entire department, not just varsity teams but our event staff, our facilities staff, intramurals, and recreation — it’s across the board.” Intramurals has already announced that their championship T-shirts will be Nike as part of this deal.
Webster believes that partnering the Warriors with the Nike brand will help in the rebuilding of some of the varsity programs. In addition to the brand partnership, athletics and recreation will also receive some scholarships and gifts in kind.
In a news release, football head coach Chris Bertoia said, “This deal definitely makes Waterloo a more attractive spot to attend, giving us an edge when trying to recruit top players across the country.”
“My goal with all this is to get our Warrior brand out there. I want everyone on this campus to feel that they are a Warrior,” said Webster. “This is not an exclusive group of student athletes that get that honour, we all should feel that we are Warriors and I think this is a step in that direction.”