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Cincy and the Swoosh: Cincinnati Bearcats Reunite With Nike & Jordan Brand

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
UC will begin wearing Jumpman basketball uniforms and Nike football gear beginning in the 2023-24 school year.

The University of Cincinnati has signed a new apparel contract with Jordan Brand and Nike. The news was first reported this week by Justin Williams of The Athletic.

Starting in the 2023-24 school year, the men’s and women’s basketball programs will be outfitted in Jumpman jerseys, shoes, and shorts, while the football team will ring in the Scott Satterfield era wearing Nike from head to toe.

Notably, the news marks a return to form of sorts, as the Bearcats basketball team famously inked an agreement with Jordan Brand back in 1997.

“It just made a lot of sense to bring them on,” former Jordan Brand Vice President Gentry Humphrey told Boardroom back in 2021 on the original signing.

Believed by their former coach to have moved more merchandise in New York than the Knicks, the Bearcats’ breakthrough union with Jordan Brand in the late ’90s carried a cachet that shined brightly in Ohio but resonated far beyond the Midwest.

“The edge that they brought and the great color combination [were] iconic to the brand,” Humphrey said. “We had Cal on the West Coast and St. John’s in New York. So, geography-wise, Cincinnati made a lot of sense.”

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From 1997 to 2006, Bearcat basketball was adorned in the Jumpman while the football team started said era in Reebok before switching to the Swoosh.

Following the departure of coach Bob Huggins, Cincinnati signed an apparel agreement with Adidas that ran from 2006 to 2015. By the fall of 2015, the school was signed to Under Armour, which they’ve worn every season since.

Now, as the 2023-24 college sports season approaches, old friends are officially reunited.

For more on UC’s historic run on the hardwood with Jordan Brand, check out the Oral History of the Bearcat’s Jumpman Era and a deep dive on the iconic ‘Cat Scratch’ basketball shorts.

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