As the Keene State sports world transitions from the winter season into the spring season, some with a nitpicking eye may have noticed something strange about some teams’ uniforms.
On August 26, 2019, Keene State Director of Athletics Phil Racicot announced that the athletic department would be signing with Prime Time Sports and Nike. This partnership would allow Owls to have Nike uniforms, apparel, equipment and footwear. However, several Keene State sports teams, both in the winter season and the spring season, have been taking to the field in their old Adidas uniforms.
So, why is that?
“The general answer in regards to women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s basketball, and field hockey is that every team is on a three-year cycle for new uniforms,” explained Assistant Athletic Director Abraham Osheyack. “There’s no provision where Nike is just going to give us all new uniforms… they were never going to buy us out of the Adidas uniform stock that we have in order to resupply us with new Nike stock for this year.”
Osheyack also explained that although it was some teams’ year to receive new uniforms, due to the dates that the Nike contract was signed and the deadline for ordering new uniforms, they are forced to remain Adidas.
“In the case of field hockey specifically, they had to order by a certain point in time to be able to have them here for the fall,” explained Osheyack. “We hadn’t signed the Nike contract yet, so they were almost forced, in a sense, to be Adidas, so they will be [Adidas] for the next two seasons before getting a set of Nike uniforms.”
The Keene State teams that do currently have Nike uniforms are the men’s and women’s soccer teams as well as the track and field/cross country teams.
Soccer received Nike uniforms for the fall season due to being on a different apparel contract than the rest of the department.
“I believe the name of the company is WeGotSoccer,” explained Osheyack. “So that allows them to get new Nike uniforms ahead of everybody else.”
One team that will be getting new uniforms soon is the men’s lacrosse team, whose season began with a home contest against RPI on February 22.
“Specific to men’s lacrosse, they are on the cycle for uniforms this year. Those uniforms have just not come in yet, so we are forced to play with the uniforms we have,” said Osheyack.
“[Our uniforms] are being printed as we speak,” said men’s lacrosse head coach Mark Theriault. “They said they will be ready by April 1… we’re just waiting for them to be ready.”
As for the apparel outside of the uniforms teams are wearing, Prime Time Sports allows Keene State to purchase all Nike gear even while a team is still on an Adidas cycle.
“Prime Time Sports is our Nike provider, so they do provide everything; uniforms, apparel, gear, even equipment,” explained Osheyack. “While we may still be on an Adidas cycle for a team in terms of the uniforms they wear in the game, the warmups or the shooting shirts, or a jacket, can all be provided by Prime Time now and would be Nike.”
“This is the first of at least a five-year contract with PTS, everybody will get on Nike at one point or another,” explained Osheyack.
Claire Boughton can be contacted