By Rashad Grove
Adidas, a global leader in the sports apparel industry, has announced a 5-year extension of its partnership with Grambling State University (GSU).
Marking the renewed partnership, the Tigers debuted the officially licensed Grambling State University x D.O.N. Issue #4 sneaker’s exclusive colorway at the HBCU Classic during the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend, which was presented by NBA superstar and Adidas partner Donovan Mitchell.
The signature shoe features GSU’s logo on the tongue and a striped sock liner with a black and gold upper which pays tribute to the rich legacy of the GSU Tigers.
Mitchell expressed his excitement about the collaboration and his support of HBCUs.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of this moment with Adidas and Grambling State University,” Mitchell said. “I’m proud to be a part of giving back to the community, both with Adidas extending its partnership and with the release of the D.O.N. Issue #4 exclusive colorway at All-Star Weekend.”
Dr. Trayvean Scott, Athletic Director of GSU, shared with EBONY how the Adidas partnership will continually have a tremendous impact on the storied institution.
“Grambling State University is an institution deeply rooted in tradition and historic firsts. The re-introduction of this historic partnership with Adidas further asserts our position as the leader among the hierarchy of not only HBCUs but all institutions, and Adidas as the world’s leading athletics apparel provider,” said Scott. “We look forward to a fruitful partnership that provides the best quality and most innovative product to help our student-athletes and coaches compete for championships.”
In addition to exclusive shoes, Adidas is committing to partner with Grambling State University on several innovative programs that combine the school’s passion for athletic ingenuity, academic excellence and social responsibility.
The initiatives include an internship for one Grambling State University student at the Adidas’ North America headquarters in Portland, OR, annual financial support for a fellow from the McLendon Foundation Minority Leadership Initiative, licensed apparel with three footwear silhouettes in 2023 in celebration of the partnership and ongoing support for students participating in the NIL Affiliate Network.
Additionally, Adidas will collaborate with brand partners such as Black Ambition and Athlete Ally and include students in upcoming brand campaigns such as Remember the Why and Honoring Black Excellence.
On the first night of All-Star Weekend, Adidas hosted an immersive exhibition celebrating the
release of the brand’s latest line of products — the 2023 Collection: Chapter 02. Mitchell along with Candace Parker, Damian Lillard, Kahleah Copper, Anthony Edwards, Walker Kessler, Chiney Ogwumike, Nneka Ogwumike, Jalen Williams, and other Adidas’ partners and influencers were in attendance to witness the brand’s artistic vision in the world of sports apparel. Attendees at the exclusive event were treated to up-close looks at unreleased sneakers and apparel from the brand including the Dame 8.5, Bad Bunny Cangrejeros, CRAZY IIINFINITY, and the D.O.N Issue No. 5.
Edwards. a first-time all-star, debuted his BYW Select Antman PEs, an official collaboration with Marvel. During the game, he wore BYW Select “Georgia Peach” PE which honors his grandmother and his hometown of Atlanta.
Lillard, who also won the 3-point contest on Saturday night, said that Adidas has been the perfect partner since their relationship began.
“Working with Adidas has been great from day one,” Lillard shared with EBONY. “On and off the court, the relationship with the brand has been great.”