The Keene State Athletic Department has inked a deal with a sports apparel powerhouse.

The department’s new contract with Adidas will provide Keene State student-athletes and coaches with discounted prices on apparel and footwear that represents the college’s athletic departments and individual teams.

The new deal will save the Owls around 40 percent on these items, and will last three years, according to Athletic Director Dr. Kristene Kelly.  Kelly said the deal was already in place when she arrived at KSC in June, but it will provide a number of different benefits for the school.

Kelly said that the contract length allows for flexibility in the future. “We knew we wanted to have the brand, but we didn’t want to commit to something that was an extended contract frame,” Kelly said. “There was some discussion just throughout the department about wanting to have an identifiable brand,” Kelly said.  “We had lots of teams doing lots of different things.”

There were a number of different teams that were not sponsored by different companies, such as the track and field teams and the swim teams. However, the swim and dive teams are still not included in the new Adidas contract, according to Kelly, which is primarily due to a previously existing contract the teams had with TYR (a swim company) that will be in effect for another couple years.

Swimmer Gabby Brzozowski said that the two different companies put the team in a position of being the outlier of KSC Athletics.“It kind of separates us from everyone else.”

Brzozowski said she would like to see the entire department under the same brand. “I think it would just make us more unified,” Brzozowski said.

Samantha Moore/ Art Director

Samantha Moore/ Art Director

Some teams, such as the men’s basketball team, were on their own individual contract with Adidas last year.  Coach Ryan Cain said that the details of the new contract won’t look much different from what they had before.

“From that perspective for us it’s going to be very similar to what we had last year,” Cain said.  “I think it’s a good deal, and I think we’re all excited to support Adidas for the next three years.”

Both Cain and Kelly expressed the marketing and recruiting benefits of the deal.  Adidas is now able to take and use photos and other media of KSC Athletics in their catalogs and other advertisements.

“If they open it up and they see Keene State College in there, that continues to market our program without us having to spend any money to market the program,” Kelly said.

According to Kelly, the practice of colleges and high schools signing deals with Adidas and other similar companies is becoming more and more common.  She said that KSC wanted to follow suit. “I just wanted make sure we weren’t getting beat out by high schools at this point,” Kelly joked.

While the agreement is relatively new, Kelly said that she has been happy with Adidas.

“I think it’s been great thus far. I think we’ve just been able to expand our relationship,” Kelly said.

Jacob Barrett can be contacted at jbarrett@kscequinox.com.