EUGENE, Ore. - USA Track & Field and Nike will extend their partnership under a new agreement that provides innovative support for professional and emerging elite athletes, USATF CEO Doug Logan announced Friday.
Nike has been USATF's National Team Sponsor since 1991, but the new contract, which extends through 2013 with an option to renew through 2017, broadens Nike's support beyond the competitive arena.
Most significantly, it establishes a "Project 30 Fund" to aid up-and-coming athletes. Taking its name from USATF's Project 30 Task Force, which called for greater support for post-college athletes, the fund will be administered by USATF for athletes who lack shoe-company sponsorship but who have medal-winning potential, particularly in traditionally under-funded event groups.
USATF's High Performance Department, headed by Chief of Sport Performance Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, will oversee distribution of support, which may range from compensation for personal coaches and support staff to sponsorship of athletes at USATF High Performance Training Centers, among other possibilities. The partnership also includes a commitment by Nike to support numerous professional track athletes annually.
"We worked together with Nike to craft something that reflects the fair market value of our brand while being much more than just a boilerplate sponsorship," Logan said. "Thanks to Nike's support, USA Track & Field will be able to enact many of the key recommendations of the Project 30 Task Force, and to provide a safety net of support that so many post-collegiate athletes are currently lacking. With more of their necessities taken care of, athletes can focus on training, and performing, to their full potential."
"Track and field was the cornerstone of Nike's founding, and we remain committed to being a partner in the future of the sport," said John Capriotti, Nike Global Director of Athletics Sport Marketing. "We are excited to add this new component of athlete-centered funding to our sponsorship of USA Track & Field."
As USATF National Team Sponsor and the world's leading creator of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories, Nike has specially designed uniforms for the last five Olympic Games. Under the new agreement with USATF, Nike maintains its status as exclusive sponsor and supplier of products to the World's #1 Track and Field Team while being USATF's official sponsor in the footwear, apparel and retail categories.
Nike will be a major sponsor of the USA vs. Jamaica Challenge meets in 2010 and will continue to sponsor USA Track & Field's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Nike will outfit all USATF teams in international competitions, including the Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, Pan American Games and World Junior Championships, among other meets. The agreement also continues Nike's sponsorship of USA vs. The World, first held in 2000, and of key stops on the Visa Championship Series, USATF's signature series of indoor and outdoor track and field meets.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org . For more on the Project 30 Task Force, visit USATF.org.
About NIKE, Inc.
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned Nike subsidiaries include Cole Haan, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Umbro Ltd., a leading United Kingdom-based global football (soccer) brand. For more information, visit NikeBiz.com.