Florida Gators jump to Jordan Brand from Nike for team athletic apparel

By Adam Silverstein
December 6, 2017
Florida Gators jump to Jordan Brand from Nike for team athletic apparel
Football

Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman, them Gators up to somethin’.

The Florida Gators‘ uniforms and apparel will look just a bit different next athletic season and beyond as Florida announced Wednesday that its football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs will be outfitted by Jordan Brand going forward.

This makes the Gators the fourth college football team and first SEC school to make the switch.

UF’s uniforms will begin featuring the iconic Jumpman logo at the start of the 2018-19 seasons. Florida x Jumpman gear will be released beginning next summer and available here on OnlyGators.com.

The remaining Gators teams will continue to be sponsored by Nike.

“I can’t wait to roll into SEC Media Days with a fresh pair of Jordans. I will be rocking them in recruiting as well,” head football coach Dan Mullen told CBS Sports. “Recruits are always asking about swag and what kind of gear we have. … Obviously, it is a great marketing and branding advantage to be associated with the Jordan Brand — and at the same time, the gear is comfortable and functional for our players.”

Florida football joins Michigan, Oklahoma and North Carolina as teams that will wear the Jumpman logo next season. That makes one per Power Five conference with the exception of the Pac-12; a team from that league is expected to be announced at some point.

It is an interesting step for the Gators, one that will certainly be met with both excitement and confusion from fans. Whereas the iconic Jumpman logo is exceptionally attractive to recruits and students, some alumni may bristle at the idea of a “basketball logo” — representing a legendary player from another school — being on its athletic apparel.

In many ways, Jordan is considered the prestige brand for Nike, though the company is trying to distance itself from direct relation so the brand can stand on its own. There is no question how Florida is viewed with the apparel giant considering the exclusive company it is keeping by being branded as part of this line.

Michigan signed a deal worth approximately $15 million annually for its switch. New deals with North Carolina and Oklahoma have neither been reported nor announced at this time. Florida’s contract with Nike has historically been low compared to some of its counterparts, though that should change with this move.

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