"This award is a big deal for us," said Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. "It really reflects the pride our fans, community and university partners have in CMU and the athletics department."
"Central Michigan has been a terrific partner of ours on and off the field," said Mark Daniels, Director of Team Sports at Adidas. "We're proud to recognize their outstanding athletic programs with the 'Adidas University of the Year' award and look forward to continuing our successful relationship with CMU."
With more than 80 other universities in the running, voting at the national sales meeting was based on team sport identity, national exposure, on-field success and team/group sales, which would not have been nearly as successful without the help of many partnerships across the CMU campus. Coordinator of Equipment and Apparel Josh Reasoner manages not only Adidas purchases for the Chippewas' 15 Olympic sport programs, but also manages partner purchases for campus groups such as University Recreation, Program Board, University Events, Aarmark, Special Olympics, the College of Education and many more that wish to be outfitted in the official gear at an affordable rate.
Both the equipment department and the University Bookstore have played a large role in meeting the needs of an entire campus. Recently, the equipment room underwent a significant facelift that included secure areas and enhancements in technical services, while the bookstore has built two satellite locations at Kelly/Shorts Stadium and the CMU Events Center to showcase the latest official merchandise on game days. The results have stretched beyond the campus boundaries, not only bringing equal and adequate branding of CMU's athletic teams, but also increasing the exposure of a consistent Chippewas brand on campus and in the community.
CMU students have benefitted directly with nearly a dozen free t-shirts designed by Adidas and distributed throughout the year at many events. And now, due to the overwhelming response from the CMU faithful, Adidas has created a personalized catalog with custom maroon and gold apparel, shoes and accessories.
"You look around in the classrooms and on the sidewalks now, and at any type of event on campus, and you see the Chippewas' Adidas maroon proudly on display," said Heeke. "Not that long ago, all of our teams looked different and you saw a lot more green and blue on campus. The maroon is spreading and it is changing the look of our campus."