Big Boi Partners With Russell Athletic to Promote HBCU
Entertainment Mogul Will Design Football Jersey for Bayou Classic
ATLANTA, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Russell Athletic's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) division announced today its partnership with Outkast's Antwan "Big Boi" Patton. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20061012/CLTH071 ) Big Boi will help promote Russell Athletic's unique partnership as the official athletic apparel provider for all HBCU schools in the SWAC, MEAC, CIAA, and SIAC conferences. Outfitting over 500 men's and women's athletic teams on 49 HBCU campuses, Russell Athletic provides over $350,000 in scholarship money to the HBCU conferences each year. Russell Athletic also designed an e-commerce Web site, www.buyhbcu.com, to provide official licensed merchandise for HBCU schools. In his first collaborative efforts with Russell Athletic to support HBCU schools, Big Boi is designing a one-of-a-kind football uniform to debut Nov. 25 at the Bayou Classic. SWAC rivals, Grambling State University and Southern University, will face off in the classic. "The Bayou Classic is one of the most well-known rivalries in HBCU football. My partnership with Russell Athletic is a great opportunity to promote HBCU athletics in order to generate the publicity they deserve," said Big Boi, who will be in attendance at the Bayou Classic. Both Grambling and Southern will showcase innovative, new Russell Athletic jerseys. Grambling will wear the Big Boi inspired jerseys for the game; however, jerseys for both Grambling and Southern will be on display at the Bayou Classic and through www.buyhbcu.com. "We expect the Bayou Classic to be one of the biggest HBCU events of the year. The fans are excited, the teams and bands are ready, and most importantly, New Orleans will be full of energy for the game. This makes it the perfect time to debut Russell Athletic's partnership with Big Boi and his inspired jersey design for HBCU schools," said Torarie Durden, Director of HBCU programs for Russell Athletic. Recently appointed Russell Athletic President, Doug Kelly, said, "Our HBCU partnership is a tremendous asset in the Russell Athletic portfolio. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with HBCU athletics." The Bayou Classic, which attracts more than 70,000 fans and is a sell-out each year, is considered one of the most distinguished sporting events. This year's Bayou Classic will be significant as the game returns to New Orleans' Louisiana Superdome after being relocated in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina. The game will also be televised on NBC Sports. Celebrating the heritage of HBCU football, Russell Athletic's Everyday Performance Tour will visit the Bayou Classic. Fans can get involved with interactive elements including a basketball goal, football toss and chin-up competition. Russell Athletic premium items will also be distributed. The tour vehicle will also include the history of Russell Athletic and recent innovations in HBCU products. Beginning in early November, Academy Sports and Outdoors will have a month-long promotion surrounding the Big Boi inspired jersey. The promotion, in up to ten Louisiana stores, will give customers a chance to win numerous gifts including the grand prize, an autographed Big Boi jersey. Russell Athletic and Big Boi have also formed another partnership to further their relationship. Russell Athletic lends support to the Big Kidz Foundation, a philanthropic project created by Big Boi. Big Kidz was created to help children make lifestyle advances through film and music. Russell Athletic and www.buyhbcu.com were recently participating sponsors for the foundation's signature event, "STRUT," a fashion show and charity auction held at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Big Boi, an Atlanta resident, is considered one of the most influential hip-hop artists and producers of the past decade. As a member of Outkast, the duo has received numerous Grammy Awards, including Best Rap Album (2002, 2004), Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group (2002, 2003) and Album of the Year (2004). Big Boi has also ventured into film with a starring role in the recently released Idlewild. ABOUT RUSSELL ATHLETIC Russell Athletic serves as the main operating division and flagship brand of Russell Corporation. Russell Athletic is dually headquartered in Alexander City, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia, and employs 1,800 people worldwide. For more than 100 years, Russell Athletic has supplied America's athletes and teams with the latest innovations to help them perform at their best. This year Russell Athletic will outfit more than 500 Division I teams and offer more than 200 pieces in its fall 2006 retail line alone. www.russellathletic.com
SOURCE Russell Athletic
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