Athletic wear means high-dollar contracts for colleges

A volleyball shoe startup is bringing attention to colleges' multi-million-dollar contracts with athletic apparel companies and terms that prevent athletes from wearing other brands. 



October 17, 2023 - 2:35 PM

The NCAA logo is seen on the basket stanchion before the game between the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles and the Florida Gators in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 21, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/TNS)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Harper Murray puts on her Adidas volleyball shoes when she practices or plays in a match for Nebraska, one of the top teams in the country. It’s not necessarily the brand she would choose; it’s because the German company is her school’s official supplier and athletes, coaches and staff are required to wear its products.

Texas’s Reilly Heinrich and Virginia’s Ashley Le wear Nikes because their schools are under contract with the shoe giant. Heinrich actually wears basketball shoes bearing the familiar swoosh because she says they fit better than Nike’s volleyball shoes.

All three also are brand ambassadors for a new volleyball shoe brand, Avoli, which they promote on social media platforms as part of their name, image and likeness compensation deals with the startup based in Portland, Oregon, also the hometown of Nike.

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