Wednesday, July 10, 2002
Zips Becomes Official Sponsor of Pitt Athletics
The flailing shoe company Zips made a surprise announcement last Thursday when they announced a $21 million, ten year agreement, to become the official sponsor of University of Pittsburgh Athletics. Beginning in the fall of 2002, all Pitt athletic teams will tighten up the patented Zips velcro when competing in university sponsored events.
“This is a great day for Zips,” Zips CEO Raymont Meyers explained. “By aligning with the Panthers two great institutions are coming together. Both of our organizations have had similar paths – great success in the 80’s, the Panthers with Jerome Lane, Dan Marino, and Alex Van Pelt, while in the 90’s we were the laughing stock of the nation. Now with this historic agreement, the two organizations are once again set to capture the attention of this great country.”
In conjunction with the agreement, Zips is announcing a new line of shoe styles which will honor the Panthers. From now on, all of Zips shoes will be styled with Panther blue and gold.
Zips is hoping to piggy back off the Panthers recent athletic successes which included a Tangerine Bowl victory and an NCAA Tournament basketball appearance.
“I will be very proud to sport the new Zips sporting gear,” Panther left tackle Rob Petitti proclaimed. “I feel very privileged to be the Pitt athlete who will have the largest Zips on my feet [At size 22 ½]. Having been born in 1982 I was too young to remember the Zips phenomenon, but my older brother tells me that he had a pair back in ’84, and he enjoyed them very much. I’m just hoping to keep up the family tradition.”
However, not all Pitt athletes are as enthusiastic as Petitti about the new sneaker partnership. Panther point guard and co-Big East Player of the Year Brandin Knight complained, “I asked Steve Pederson for Adidas and he gets us Zips? This will definitely ruin my draft position.”
Steve Pederson issued word that he is excited for the merger. Pederson also directly addressed Knight’s concerns in a statement which read, “Brandin Knight plays basketball to win, not as part of some fashion show.”