After once being a leader in athletic uniform production, Russell Athletic will cease making team uniforms in a decision that’s effective immediately, according to The Alexander City Outlook. Once upon a time, Russell Athletic had a large share of the college football uniform market, and in the mid-1990s, the company signed a five-year deal as MLB’s exclusive uniform provider.
But things changed drastically over the last two decades as Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour began to take over the market. As of this season, Russell Athletic makes only 1.5 percent of FBS uniforms, according to Football Scoop. Georgia Tech is the only Power 5 school that still has a deal with Russell Athletic, but they will switch to Adidas starting next summer.
In light of Adidas’ involvement in the FBI’s college basketball investigation, Yellow Jackets coach Paul Johnson quipped that was the first time he was happy Russell Athletic was his program’s sponsor.
Paul Johnson: When the FBI/CBB stuff broke, for once in my life, I said I'm glad we're with Russell Athletic.
— David Glenn Show (@DavidGlennShow) September 28, 2017
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Last year, Pick Six Previews polled 100 FBS recruits about uniforms, and Russell Athletic scored a 2.9 out of 10 on the “cool” scale, laughably far behind Nike (9.5), Adidas (8.1), and Under Armour (7.9). So this news doesn’t come as much of a surprise.