The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and HanesBrands, or HBI, today announced a multiyear extension of their current apparel partnership that gives HBI exclusive rights to design, manufacture, and distribute Wolverine fanwear in the mass retail channel.
HBI states it is the world’s largest supplier of collegiate fan apparel. It has been an exclusive apparel partner with Michigan for more than a decade. Terms of the extension were not disclosed.
“Michigan is a powerhouse in every way, on the field and in the classroom, and has one of the largest alumni networks in the world,” says John Fryer, president of licensed sports apparel at HanesBrands. “As consumer-driven leaders in the apparel industry, our Champion and Hanes brands drive purchase across the retail spectrum.”
HBI will continue as a preferred supplier with the M Den, the official retailer of the University of Michigan Athletic Department.
In addition, the company states its Champion brand will continue to engage with student athletes through name, image, and likeness (NIL) agreements as it did with University of Michigan track and field standout Ziyah Holman earlier this year. Holman was part of a group of female athletic standouts featured in the brand’s “Get It Girl” campaign.
The partnership extension with HanesBrands follows an analysis of the University of Michigan trademark licensing program and a competitive proposal process completed in conjunction with the university’s exclusive licensing agent, CLC. A collegiate trademark licensing company founded in 1981, CLC has its headquarters in Atlanta.
In addition to these exclusive programs, Michigan will continue its partnership with Nike as the provider of performance products and specific fan merchandise.
“As we head toward opening kickoff of football season, there’s a lot of momentum for Wolverine apparel following the team’s outstanding performance last year — winning the Big Ten title and finishing the year ranked No. 3,” said Fryer. “We expect to see a lot of Champion apparel in maize and blue.”
The University of Michigan joins Clemson, Auburn, Penn State, N.C. State, and more than two dozen other schools that have exclusive mass channel retail partnerships with HBI.
HanesBrands, which produces the brands as Hanes, Champion, and Bonds, employs 59,000 associates in 33 countries.