HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi athletic teams are about to get a different look starting next season.
The Golden Eagles still will sport the black-and-gold, but all 16 athletic teams will wear the uniforms and footwear of Adidas AG Group.
The eight-year contract, which runs through 2024-25, will begin in August when USM's current, five-year deal with Russell Athletic expires.
No details of the Adidas contract were given in the university's announcement Tuesday. Russell Athletic paid USM $2.75 million over the term of the agreement, or $550,000 annually.
"Our department leadership team was focused and deliberate in our assessment and evaluation of potential vendors," USM athletic director Jon Gilbert said in a statement. "We interviewed an array of companies to find the best fit for the University of Southern Mississippi. In the end, we found Adidas to be the best partner for our department.
"Our comprehensive agreement will provide the highest quality, look and feel for the highest levels of athletic completion. We are excited to make Adidas products available to our student-athletes and have their iconic brand across our department."
The world's second-largest athletic footwear and apparel company, Adidas is the official provider for more than 100 collegiate programs, including Arizona State University; University of Indiana; University of Louisville; University of Miami; Mississippi State University; University of Nebraska; North Carolina State University; and Texas A&M University.
The company also has marketing agreements with the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and Major Soccer League.
"Our mission is to help athletes perform better and we're excited about the direction of the Golden Eagles' sports programs," said Jim Murphy, director of NCAA Sports Marketing at Adidas America.
"The new partnership is a great opportunity for Adidas to work closely with Southern Miss athletics to help them execute their mission to guide and support student-athletes in the pursuit of excellence, academically, athletically and personally."