Outkast’s Big Boi is finding good fortune through his alliance with Russell Athletic.
The company, which outfits more than 500 men’s and women’s athletic teams on 49 HBCU campuses and provides more than over $350,000 in scholarship money each year, has partnered with Big Boi in support of his Big Kidz Foundation, a philanthropic project created to help children make lifestyle advances through film and music.
Russell Athletic and its e-commerce web site, buyhbcu.com, recently sponsored the Foundation’s signature event Strut, a fashion show and charity auction.
Strut is just one of two events featuring the resources of the two entities.
Russell Athletic’s HBCU division recently announced that it will work with the company to create a one-of-a-kind football uniform that will debut Nov. 25 at this year’s Bayou Classic.
“The Bayou Classic is one of the most well-known rivalries in HBCU football,” said Big Boi, who called his partnership with Russell Athletic “a great opportunity to promote HBCU athletics in order to generate the publicity they deserve.”
Considered one of the most distinguished sporting events, the Bayou Classic attracts more than 70,000 fans who take in the annual face off between SWAC rivals Grambling State University and Southern University.
Grambling will sport the Big Boi-inspired jerseys for the game.
The Russell Athletic jerseys from both teams will be on display at the Classic and at buyhbcu.com.
This year’s game, which will be televised on NBC Sports, marks the return of the Classic to New Orleans’ Louisiana Superdome after being relocated in 2005 due to Hurricane Katrina.
“We expect the Bayou Classic to be one of the biggest HBCU events of the year. The fans are excited, the teams and bands are ready, and most importantly, New Orleans will be full of energy for the game,” said Torarie Durden, Russell Athletic director of HBCU programs. “This makes it the perfect time to debut Russell Athletic’s partnership with Big Boi and his inspired jersey design for HBCU schools.”
In addition to the game, fans will have a chance to experience the Russell Athletic Everyday Performance tour.
Interactive elements such as a basketball goal, football toss, and chin-up competition will be featured, as well as the distribution of Russell Athletic premium items.
A tour vehicle will highlight the history of Russell Athletic and recent innovations in HBCU products.
The Big Boi-inspired jerseys will also take center stage as part of a month-long promotion by Academy Sports and Outdoors.
The promotion, which begins in early November, will take place in up to 10 Louisiana stores and allow customers a chance to win numerous gifts including the grand prize, an autographed Big Boi jersey.