Big Boi Partners With Russell Athletic to Promote HBCU

Entertainment Mogul Will Design Football Jersey for Bayou Classic

Oct 12, 2006, 01:00 ET from Russell Athletic

    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: )
     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,, 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
     "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
     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 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.
     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.

SOURCE Russell Athletic