HanesBrands (HBI), one of the world’s largest suppliers of collegiate fan apparel, has announced a new relationship 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 that provides Longhorn fans with “A Selection as Big as Texas.”
Texas joins the University of Georgia, University of North Carolina, University of South Carolina, Ohio State University and University of Cincinnati as primary apparel partners with HanesBrands. The agreement awards exclusive rights in mass, campus and local channels through 2032.
HBI, 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,” says John Fryer, president of sports apparel, HBI. “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.”
Delivering on its commitment to elevating the Longhorn brand, HBI 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 unique traditions that make the interstate rivalry truly special. The designs debuted this week and signified 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,” says Drew Martin, executive senior associate athletics director for external affairs, 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 gameday.”
The new partnership with HBI follows a detailed analysis of the Texas trademark licensing program and a competitive proposal process completed in conjunction with the university’s exclusive licensing agent, CLC. In addition to these exclusive programs, Texas will also continue to partner with other best-in-class licensees in key product categories to meet the needs of Texas fans.