Florida A&M became the beneficiary of the first-ever apparel partnership between NBA star LeBron James and a college program.
Add in that the agreement involves an HBCU athletic outfit and this circumstance becomes even more poignant.
Part of the deal — a six-year $3.3 million one — will feature all FAMU sports teams wearing branded James/Nike gear, including uniforms and shoes stamped with crown logo.
As first reported by Yahoo Sports, the agreement has Nike investing $200,000 each year in marketing for the university. It also will provide similar funding to the school’s Rattler Athletic Fund.
The proposed agreement includes an option for an additional two years that would provide another $1.28 million in retail product to FAMU’s athletic department through the summer of 2029.
To top it off, Nike will deploy a so-called asset each year to promote FAMU. According to the report, that proposed asset mentions James himself, rapper Travis Scott and Grand Slam tennis champion Naomi Osaka.
How did this all happen?
Athletic director Kortne Gosha explained the agreement began to come together in December.
The deal, he said, has already paid off despite no FAMU team actually sporting James-branded apparel.
“In the four or five days [since the announcement] it has equated to millions of dollars in exposure that quite frankly we would have never been able to afford,” Gosha told Yahoo Sports. “There is going to be a direct correlation to student-athletes taking a closer look [at FAMU], to students taking a closer look and to other corporate partners taking a closer look.”