Howard University Aligns With The Jump Man, Adding To The New HBCU Sports Renaissance

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When the classic athletic apparel brand Air Jordan hears someone say “HU,” they will know to respond, “You know!” as the Jordan Brand has reportedly reached a deal with Howard University.

The Capstone currently has an athletics apparel deal with Under Armour’s Steph Curry Brand attached to Curry’s commitment to fund the Howard University golf program for six years; he is attempting to help the school get back into Division 1 competition.

However, the Curry deal reportedly will not affect the Jordan Brand deal, specific to Curry’s provision of Curry Brand for Bison golf resources, equipment, apparel, shoes, and other gear. The deal is also set to expire this summer.

The famed HBCU is now looking to add Jordan Brand for their athletic department, The Boardroom reports.

Deals On Deals

The world received a glimpse of what the HU “J’s” might look like when comedic actor Anthony Anderson received a pair after receiving his degree from the Chadwick Boseman School of Fine Arts.

The deal will put Howard in the company of fellow Jordan Brand schools: the University of North Carolina, which is Michael Jordan’s alma mater, UCLA, Michigan, Georgetown, Marquette, San Diego State, Houston, Oklahoma, and Florida.

The move is Jordan Brand’s return to outfitting a team in the HBCU realm. Twenty-five years ago, the company launched at the collegiate level with North Carolina A&T University as one of its original three schools. The NCA&T deal ran for six years until the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference inked a new pact with Russell Athletic in 2003

The other two schools that first wore the jump man emblem were the University of Cincinnati and St. Johns University.

The HBCU Renaissance

Last November, LeBron James inked a deal with Florida A&M University to supply its athletic department with Nike’s signature branded gear. The Rattlers’ famous marching band also sports the LBJ logo on their uniforms.

HBCUs have seen the love flow from current and former professional athletes in recent years. Former two-time NBA champion JR Smith is currently enrolled at North Carolina A&T, joining the golf team and instantly raising the program’s profile while pursuing his degree.

Deion Sanders has made leveling the playing field for HBCU athletics his new mission as Coach Prime for the Jackson State University Tigers. Along with his vast relationships and two sons, Sanders has put the uplift of HBCU football on his back, raising the economy of Jackson, Mississippi, in the process.

More Life

In addition, Shedeur Sanders, Jackson State quarterback, received a NIL deal to be a brand ambassador for Beats By Dre.

Last month, Adidas announced that they would give eligible student-athletes of all genders opportunities to become paid brand ambassadors. HBCUs Alabama State, Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Grambling State, and Prairie View A&M meet the Division I school criteria and are set to take part in the rollout in the fall.

HBCUs are receiving amenities once that were thought unavailable for the uniquely cultural institutions for higher learning.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.