U SPORTS announced Tuesday that it has renewed its partnership with Wilson Sporting Goods as its Exclusive Basketball and Football Supplier of U SPORTS for the next four seasons.
As part of the extended partnership, Wilson becomes for the first time the Official Football of the U SPORTS East-West Bowl – which annually showcases the next generation of top CFL prospects for the following year’s Draft.
Wilson will also continue to provide footballs for the Vanier Cup, as well as the Mitchell Bowl and Uteck Bowl national semifinals, along with basketballs for the U SPORTS Men’s and Women’s Final 8 tournaments until 2023. The announcement was made in conjuction with the sold-out U SPORTS University Athletics Tradeshow at the 2019 Conference and Annual Meeting, where nearly 50 vendors are represented.
“U SPORTS is a tremendous partner and we are extremely excited to extend our partnership with them,” said Mark Girardo, Commercial Manager of Amer Sports Canada Inc., parent company of Wilson. “We look forward to working with their organization and its players to look for more ways we can enhance their play through our products and services.”
In addition, Wilson will supply commemorative award footballs and basketballs to each All-Canadian Awards Gala, and relaunch its custom Shoot for the Cure sales program for all members taking part in the annual women’s basketball fundraising initiative to raise money to fight breast cancer.
A long-time partner of university sports in Canada, Wilson has supplied U SPORTS football and basketball national championships for over 20 years.
A fixture in the industry, Wilson is the official game ball of the CFL and NFL, as well as FIBA 3x3 and Canada Basketball 3x3. It has also supplied NCAA men’s and women’s Division I, II and III Championships since 2002, a partnership that was renewed last spring until the 2020-21 season.
"We are excited to have Wilson continue as our official football and basketball for the next three years,” said U SPORTS President and CEO Graham Brown. “Wilson has supplied some of the biggest sporting events in the world, and we are proud to be included in their prestigious portfolio.
We look forward to providing one of the industry’s leading standards to our student-athletes as they compete for a U SPORTS banner and showcase themselves for the CFL Draft.”
This year’s Bowl Games will see the OUA champions visit the Canada West champions in the Mitchell Bowl, while the AUS champions will host the RSEQ winners in the Uteck Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 17. The winners will advance to the 55th Vanier Cup at Laval’s TELUS-UL Stadium in Quebec City on Nov. 23.
The East-West Bowl will be played in May 2020, with a host to be announced at a later date.
In basketball, the 2020 Men’s and Women’s Final 8 tournaments will be combined and cohosted in in the nation’s capital by the Carleton Ravens and Ottawa Gee-Gees, in partnership with the Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group. All games from both championships will be played at TD Place Arena – home of the OHL’s Ottawa 67s – and the Ravens Nest on Carleton’s campus.