ATLANTA, GEORGIA (October 20, 2020) — Academy Sports + Outdoors announced partnerships as the Official Sporting Goods and Outdoor Retailer of three college conferences – the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), CIAA (Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) and SIAC (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference).
The multi-year partnership with the MEAC gives Academy Sports exposure and marketing assets across men’s and women’s basketball, conference championship events and the events and content surrounding the league’s 50th anniversary.
Located in Norfolk, VA, the MEAC is made up of 11 historically black institutions: Bethune-Cookman University, Coppin State University, Delaware State University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, and South Carolina State University.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Academy Sports + Outdoors as they engage with our conference and member institutions,” MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas said.
Academy’s Community Engagement Platform and Market Moments Campaign will also be showcased at several MEAC member institutions. The Community Engagement Platform will allow each member institution to collaborate with Academy in their local markets highlighting schools, youth teams and local initiatives.
“Whether MEAC fans are already loyal Academy customers or discovering our brand for the first time, we’re excited to showcase our assortment of fun sports, outdoors and recreational products while implementing impactful community-focused initiatives,” said Lawrence Lobpries, Academy Sports + Outdoors’ Senior Vice President of Marketing.
The multi-year partnership between Academy and the SIAC is viewed as an opportunity to build meaningful community initiatives with a focus on grassroots programming that includes youth outreach and mentorship programs. The new partnership provides Academy an opportunity to elevate the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) experience and exposure to a passionate SIAC fan base that is located in established markets.
“We are very pleased to announce this exciting new partnership with Academy Sports + Outdoors,” remarked SIAC Commissioner Gregory Moore. “Both Academy and the SIAC share a common vision of encouraging more boys and girls to participate in youth sports – most particularly participation in many underrepresented non-traditional sports. We are confident that working together this partnership will meaningfully advance that important objective.”
“The SIAC conference has a storied athletic history, due to the strong competition between its member schools and its passionate fan base,” Lobpries said. “We are proud and excited to bring new, fun initiatives and mentorship programs to the SIAC and its schools through this partnership.”
The new multi-year collaboration with the CIAA will focus on establishing meaningful community initiatives across established markets within the CIAA footprint. Specifically, these initiatives will look to activate and amplify grassroots efforts, such as youth outreach and mentoring programs, that are inclusive of student-athletes and administrators from across the conference.
“We’re excited to be partnering with Academy Sports + Outdoors. This is a great opportunity to work jointly with an industry leader to develop impactful programming within our communities,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “We value partnerships that provide our members with access to resources and opportunities while allowing our conference to uniquely engage our fans and alumni through collaborative efforts.”
The CIAA partnership will provide Academy Sports exposure and engagement with the fan base throughout the CIAA during conference championships and events and social media while seeking additional opportunities to elevate the HBCU experience together.