Press Release for Monday, July 6, 2009

North Florida Ospreys Swoop Over Nike Swoosh Apparel Deal

Joanna Norris, Assistant Director, Department of Media Relations and Events, (904) 620-2102
Jeff Wuerth, Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations, (904) 620-4027

For the first time in University of North Florida athletics history, the University reached an exclusive agreement with an apparel supplier, inking a five-year agreement with Nike Inc. to be the provider of its athletic gear, which will prominently display the shoe and apparel manufacturer’s swoosh logo.

Nike, the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities, will supply UNF student-athletes with practice apparel and game uniforms annually for 17 different men’s and women’s NCAA Division I sports.

“For UNF athletics to be identified with Nike, the premiere shoe and apparel manufacturer in the world, enhances our marketability and can help us with our recruiting efforts,” said Lee Moon, UNF Director of Athletics.

The Nike agreement will allow UNF Athletics to create a UNF line of Nike gear that will give student-athletes in each sport a consistent look. The University has a one-year transition period to end individual contracts with other apparel providers. The new UNF/Nike uniforms will debut this fall and the apparel line is also expected to be available for purchase in the UNF campus bookstore and various local sports retailers.

The North Florida Ospreys are definitely swooping over wearing the Nike swoosh on their uniforms and practice gear. Juliemay Syquio, a junior on the women’s basketball team, says wearing Nike on and off the court will definitely make a fashion statement. “Nike has always been the ‘it’ brand for our generation,” she said. “If we look good, we play good.”

The exclusive Nike deal comes at a time when UNF Athletics has completed the final year of the four-year transition to a full-fledged member of Division I athletics. The Ospreys began their transition from Division II athletics to Division I at the start of the 2005-06 season and beginning this year will be eligible for all postseason play on the NCAA Division I level.

Moon, who was hired in February as the University’s sixth Director of Athletics, has a goal of building the athletic program to the point of national recognition. “Many of UNF’s academic programs have gained a stellar reputation and I’m optimistic that UNF Athletics can have that type of positive exposure as well,” he said.

Moon’s first step towards building a nationally-recognized athletics program started with the hiring of former Baylor assistant men’s basketball coach Matthew Driscoll as the Ospreys newest men’s basketball coach. He came on board in April and became the fourth coach in the history of the UNF men’s basketball program, which first started competing during the 1992-93 season.

Before the 2008-09 season, Driscoll was voted as one of the top-10 assistant coaches in the nation in a national survey of coaching professionals conducted and published by Fox Sports.

Wholly-owned Nike subsidiaries include Cole Haan, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Umbro Ltd., a leading United Kingdom-based global football (soccer) brand.

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