KNOXVILLE (WATE) – “The line starts here” is written in bold, white letters on one of the entrance gates at Neyland Stadium.
The University of Tennessee’s much anticipated switch from the Adidas brand to the Nike brand happens Tuesday. Nike gear will be brought into the Vol Shop on the University of Tennessee’s campus at midnight on Tuesday. The store will open soon after the school’s official launch on Wednesday afternoon.
Vol Shop associate director Drew Sims said they’ve been feeling the anticipation. “We started getting calls a couple weeks ago of people saying can we tailgate, can we do hangout sessions in tents,” said Sims. “The build up has been like nothing we’ve ever seen.”Related:Documents reveal how Nike makes brand identity recommendations to universities
Serious fans are already very specific about what they’re looking to purchase. University of Tennessee graduating senior Ellen Moore said she has her eye on the shorts. “I really like those style of shorts and to be able to wear them in a UT fashion really means a lot to me,” said Moore.
Others, like Vols fan Bob Claborn, say they have been holding off buying University of Tennessee gear. “I saw it coming so I haven’t bought anything in the last couple years,” said Claborn.
Sims said last year’s sideline polo t-shirts are already marked down to 50 percent off Wednesday, but there will likely be an even more significant markdown. He said their has been a lot of excitement about the deals on University of Tennessee gear.
While staff know the type of products the university will be bringing in, even Sims said he hasn’t actually seen them. “We have a pretty good idea based on other schools,” he said, “but everything’s been very secretive. And what we call a blind buy.”