By Karis Fuller
Assistant Arts & Entertainment Editor
It’s not hard to spot the athletes on the LIU Post campus. Either they’re carrying their lacrosse sticks, have hair tied up in a wet messy bun or are dressed head to toe in Adidas, with the Pioneers logo imprinted on their chests.
In 2014, Post signed a five season contract with Adidas and a third party vendor, which is a team dealer. Sponsors give the best deals to the schools that get the most exposure on the national level. Athletic Director Debbie DeJong explained the logic behind it. “When it comes to Nike, Under Armor and Adidas, you get better deals depending on who you are university wise,” DeJong said. “What’s the visibility going to be, and one of the biggest visibilities at least at the Division I level is going to be in men’s football and basketball.” It depends on who you are and the success of the athletic body. The more incentive to buy the merchandise, the bigger the contract.
LIU’s contract with Adidas was chosen carefully to help benefit the most amount of people. “Everyone is biased to Nike, Un- der Armour or Adidas but it’s more about what’s the best thing we can get for our en- tire program, and Adidas at that moment was giving us the best money contract back for what was being o ered,” DeJong said. Adidas had the most striking deal for two reasons: they had a better percentage o the actual retail price of clothes, and based on the total amount spent by the depart- ment, student athletes get a rebate to spend at the end of the year.
“This year, we started to take an allotment from the trade that we get back to give any team or individual that competes on the NCAA level gets an adidas shirt with their sport on the front and the NCAA logo on the back,” DeJong said, “so we’ve been able to use those things to help benefit our programs who have made it to the NCAA level.” The rebate money also helps new teams develop, by getting new programs of the ground with apparel, such as women’s rugby who became an approved NCAA team in fall 2017.
Post has approximately 550 student athletes who bene t from the Adidas con- tract. But, DeJong said, it is impossible to make everyone happy. DeJong explained how Adidas is mainly associated with soccer, whereas a sport like lacrosse is more associated with Under Armour. Sophomore political science major and soccer player, Gabby Clark, is more concerned with the delivery of the kit by the third party vendors. “Our gear never gets here on time, or they seem to mess up the order,” she said.
DeJong thinks the athletes deserve a better deal with equipment and attire. “With the amount of exposure we have on the NCAA level, even though we are Division II and also the amount of sports we have, we can get a better deal in the front end,” she said.
For fall 2019, the athletic department is deciding “whether we stay with Adidas or [move to] Nike or Under Armour,” DeJong said. “We will now shop around for the best contact we can get out of it,” she said.