Hanesbrands, the world’s largest supplier of collegiate fan apparel, announced a new relationship Thursday with The University of Texas at Austin to be one of its primary apparel partners.
The 10-year strategic agreement will lead to the development of a consumer-driven collection of fan apparel. Texas joins the University of Georgia, University of North Carolina, University of South Carolina, The Ohio State University and University of Cincinnati as primary apparel partners with Hanesbrands. The agreement awards exclusive rights in the mass, campus and local channels through 2032.
Handbrands, which owns the Champion and Hanes brands, will focus on designing and manufacturing Texas fan gear for the local Austin market and national supercenter and club retailers. Texas will also continue its partnership with Nike as the provider of performance products and specific fan merchandise for the Longhorns’ Athletics programs.
“Texas Athletics and Longhorn fans represent the spirit, tradition and leadership embodied by our Champion brand, and we are excited to be a part of this innovative apparel strategy,” John Fryer, Hanesbrands president of sports apparel, said. “In addition to the experiential Champion shop at The Co-op, we are delivering exceptional assortments of Longhorns gear to more than 750 national retailers’ store locations, and we look forward to building on our promise of quality and fashion for Texas fans.”
Hanesbrands has already completed work on a new Champion shop experience at The Co-op in Austin. In addition, the company’s design center of excellence created “Red River Showdown” apparel that highlights the traditions central to the school’s rivalry with Oklahoma University. The designs debuted this week and signify the first of many retail programs expected during the 10-year deal.
“HanesBrands is committed to significantly expanding the assortment and distribution of Texas merchandise, which complements our fan-focused licensed merchandise strategy,” said Drew Martin, executive senior associate athletics director for external affairs at UT-Austin. “We selected HBI because the company is invested in a true brand partnership with the university and Texas Athletics as we work to provide ‘A Selection As Big As Texas’ for Longhorn fans. We have already seen a very positive fan response to the HBI apparel–with near record sales on our first football game day.”