As part of Nike’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, the storied footwear giant is focused on deepening its relationships with HBCUs by collaborating with schools who share a long legacy in developing the next generation of global changemakers.
Founded in October 2020, the Nike Yardrunners campaign celebrates the rich history, heritage and legacy of HBCUs by offering fan gear at select Nike stores and storytelling around people who exemplify commitment to community, legacy, and excellence at their respective universities.
Led by Howard University alum/marketing dynamo Arinze Emeagwali (who oversees ideation to execution), the buzzy campaign celebrates and empowers the Black community, investing in and creating platforms for athletes to shine and drive meaningful change.
This month, Nike unveiled its Fall ’21 Class of Yardrunners comprised of 16 former HBCU student athletes who embody the future of sport on and off the field.
To capture the campaign creative for this new line, Nike tapped League Twenty Two founded by HBCU alum Ashley Henderson and employed Black creatives across all mediums.
This year’s honorees include:
Peep his solo spotlight below:
A’Zia Reed, Kentucky State University – Basketball
Brehanna Daniels, Norfolk State University – Basketball/Nascar
Chester Hutcherson, Tuskegee University – Football
Clint Gray, Tennessee State University – Football (co-founder of popular pizzeria chain Slim + Huskys)
Derrick Moore, Tennessee State University – Football
Dominique Pierre, Delaware State University – Equestrian
Grant Bennett, Morehouse College – Baseball
Jennifer Gray, Alabama A&M University – Cheer
Kahdre Walker, Bethune Cookman University – Drum Major
Lynae Bogues, Spelman College – Dance
Martin Oliver, Central State University – Basketball
Mulbe Marcellus Dillard, Florida A&M University – Golf
Solomon Mangham, Howard University – Basketball
Taliyah Townsend, North Carolina A&T State University- Track & Field
Tara Turner, Clark Atlanta University – Tennis
We caught up with Arinze to chat about the Yardrunners campaign, Howard’s impact on his success, and more during our interview you can view below:
Laddering into Nike’s larger 2025 targets, the brand has earmarked $10 million in the form of scholarships and academic partnerships to increase interns and direct hires from HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions.
To shop the Yardrunners collection, click here.