“UGA is a Nike school. [Nike] gives the university about $900,000 worth of gear a year for the right to be the official outfitter of the Bulldogs, under a 10-year, $13 million contract signed in 1999…. In addition, this month Richt will get his first check for apparel-related compensation as outlined in his new contract, signed in July. The contract gives him $530,000 a year … for ‘equipment endorsement efforts,’ including Nike…. Such compensation has become a standard provision in high-profile coaches’ contracts during the past 10 years.

… Nike expects its famous ‘swoosh’ to be worn by players and coaches during ‘practices, games, exhibitions, clinics, sports camps and other official or university-sanctioned intercollegiate athletic program activities … including but not limited to photo sessions and interviews,’ according to the 28-page, detail-laden contract….

The product placement, on the front of every jersey and the side of every shoe — the swoosh displayed prominently in countless video replays and newspaper and magazine photographs — more than pays for Nike’s nominal investment ….”

League of Fans believes this and countless other university apparel deals across the country are unethical. The deals effectively:

1) commercialize universities and brand athletes, making them into walking billboards advertisements for Nike and others.

2) pressure campus athletics departments to operate like for-profit teams.

3) pressure coaches to put their relationships with the companies over the well-being of their athletes.

4) tie universities into relationships with companies — like Nike, Adidas and Reebok — which are synonymous with sweatshops in the Third-World. They have become symbols of labor rights violations, paltry wages, forced overtime and abuse for hundreds of thousands of workers. Despite pressure from around the world, these companies still chooses to maximize profits by undermining human rights standards.

Take Action!

Find out the apparel manufacturer affiliation of your favorite college sports teams and/or alma maters, and write to the college or university presidents, athletic directors and coaches expressing your concerns.

For more information on the sweatshop issue, visit:

United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS): an international student movement of campuses and individual students fighting for sweatshop free labor conditions and workers’ rights. University standards should be brought in line with those of its students who demand that their school’s logo is emblazoned on clothing made in decent working conditions. USAS demands that our universities adopt ethically and legally strong codes of conduct, full public disclosure of company information and truly independent verification systems to ensure that sweatshop conditions are not happening.

Worker Rights Consortium (WRC): a non-profit organization created by students, labor rights experts, and workers from across the globe with participation from college and university administrators. The WRC’s purpose is to enforce manufacturing codes of conduct adopted by colleges, universities, high schools, and school districts; these codes are designed to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing school logos respect the basic rights of workers, such as the freedom of association and overtime pay.

National Labor Committee (NLC): helps defend the human rights of workers in the global economy. The NLC investigates and exposes human and labor rights abuses committed by U.S. companies producing goods in the developing world. NLC undertakes public education, research and popular campaigns that empower U.S. citizens to support the efforts of workers to learn and defend their rights.


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