Two black athletes who play for the Washington Huskies, Michael Penix Jr. and Rome Odunze, have been signed by German apparel brand Adidas, according to Forbes. They also double as the brand’s first two college football athletes. Per the deal, the two athletes will participate in brand marketing campaigns.
Commenting on the development, Penix Jr. expressed his excitement about the deal, adding that it meant a lot to him.
“I couldn’t be happier to be teaming up with the Adidas family, I’ve been in the three stripes my entire college career and their support has meant a lot to me. I’m excited about this unique opportunity to help further the brand and I’m appreciative of their investment in my university, my teammates, and myself,” said Penix Jr. “Adidas has shown that they’re committed to student-athletes across the country and I’m thankful to be a part of their commitment.”
“It’s an honor to be joining the Adidas family as one of the brand’s first football NIL athletes,” said Rome Odunze. “Adidas is committed to empowering me to shape my brand and my future, and I’m looking forward to inspiring the next generation of athletes.”
According to Forbes, Penix, a Huskies Quarterback, has 16 touchdowns and 1,999 passing yards in his first five games. In the previous season, he did not only lead in passing years per game but also got named Associated Press Comeback Players of the Year. What is more, he placed on the All-Pac-12 Second Team.
Odunze, on the other hand, was instrumental in leading the Pac-12 in receiving yards last season (1,145). He also earned a place on the All-Pac-12 First Team. This earned him AP’s Pre-season All-America First Team and other recognitions.
Since 2019, Adidas has been a partner of the University of Washington. Also, “all athletes at Washington are also able to participate in the brand’s larger NIL network, which launched in July 2022 as a first-of-its-kind program aimed at creating a more equitable future in sports,” according to Forbes.
“Michael and Rome are two of the most promising young athletes in the country right now, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to our impressive roster,” said Rupert Campbell, president of Adidas North America. “The U.S. has the most exciting collegiate fan and student-athlete base in the world, and we’re proud to be doubling down in sports here—including our investment in NIL and university partners to assert our position as the leading sports brand in the college sports space.”