Jordan Brand Announces a 20-Year Partnership With HBCU Howard University

Jordan Brand has entered into a 20-year partnership with Howard University.

The athletic giant announced the partnership with the Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU), an effort the brand said “will create academic and athletic opportunities that elevate the best of the Black community.”

“Howard University and Jordan Brand share a legacy of excellence and deep commitment to the Black Community. As a HBCU graduate, I understand the educational impact an institution like Howard University has. We are proud to partner with Howard University and see the growth in Black talent on the field and well beyond it,” Jordan Brand president Craig Williams said in a statement.

In a statement, Jordan Brand stated the partnership with Howard University will deepen its connection to HBCU culture, which the company explained has influenced all aspects of Black culture in North America, and honor the academic institution’s heritage “by driving cultural connections across the diaspora.”

The partnership will yield Jumpman uniforms for the Howard University athlete program, which the brand confirmed in a statement will be revealed on Aug. 27. “This partnership amplifies the culture of champions we are building at Howard. After winning multiple MEAC Championships last year we are poised to continue with Jordan Brand by our side,” Howard University athletic director Kery Davis said in a statement.

Also, Jordan Brand said the partnership will unlock new opportunities in recruitment that will elevate both athletic and academic experiences.

“We have always been proud of our legacy at Howard University, but we are audacious enough to believe our future could be brighter than our past. Partnering with Jordan Brand is another signal of our ambitions as a university to become an even brighter beacon for Black Excellence. We are thrilled to work on that vision of greatness together,” Howard University president Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a statement.

Howard University student association president Jordyn Allen added, “HBCU‘s have been impacting culture since the beginning. Now we see a new era on the horizon, and an opportunity with Jordan Brand to introduce Howard University to the world. I’m excited to see our university collaborate with a partner like Jordan Brand that already means so much to the Black community. Together, we have the power to make a difference and inspire the next generation of students to do the same.”

The Howard University partnership is the latest initiative from Jordan Brand in its ongoing commitment to the Black community.

In June 2020, Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand revealed a commitment of $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations that promote racial equality, social justice and greater access to education. A month later, they announced the first three partners that will receive donations: Formerly Incarcerated & Convicted People and Families Movement, Black Voters Matter and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Inc. In September 2021, Jordan Brand bolstered its commitment to the Black community with Jordan Real Talk, a series of conversations hosted by Angela Rye focused on education and awareness. 

The effort continued in May 2021 when Jordan Brand revealed the destinations for its next three multiyear grants: The National Museum of African American History and Culture, Morehouse College and the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. And in September 2021, Jordan Brand made another sizable financial investment, this time giving $1 million in grants to 18 change-focused grassroots organizations.

Speaking with FN in February, Williams addressed the importance of the ongoing commitment. “When we thought about the Black community commitment, it was to make sure that Black people in North America and the U.S. didn’t have to suffer the same level of racial inequality that existed in the past. It’s a natural thing for us to sell sneakers and T-shirts, which is great, but we’re also interested in what that consumer is interested in every day because we reside in the same communities,” Williams told FN.

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