March 25, 2008
CHICAGO -- The University of Cincinnati Bearcats made a name for themselves in college football in 2007 after beating Southern Mississippi, 31-21, in the PapaJohns.com Bowl and finishing the 2007-08 season ranked 17th in the Associated Press Poll. The program recently signed a four-year deal to play with the best college football in the game, the Wilson GST.
Known across the country as the "gold standard" of footballs, the Wilson GST is used by many of the nation's top programs, including the University of Maryland and the North Carolina State University. The GST features WE Leather, Wilson's exclusive leather that features a deeper pebble and a firmer texture.
"In my 18 years as a head coach, the GST has been my choice as the best ball in the game," said UC head coach Brian Kelly. "Durability, touch, and control are what separate the Wilson GST from any other ball I have used."
The contract was initiated by the coach, who insisted the team sign with the Ohio-based Wilson.
"When our past ball contract expired Coach Kelly was specific in our discussion on which brand he wanted to use. His exact words were, `Make a deal for the best ball on the market - get us a deal with Wilson,'" said Mike Waddell, Cincinnati's Senior Associate Director of Athletics. "There is no question that Wilson is the best football on the market, and being an Ohio company, it makes perfect sense to align with the industry champion. That is what we are all about at UC - championships. Wilson will be a big part of UC football's drive to the BCS."
"We are very excited to have Coach Kelly and the University of Cincinnati as a part of our staff here at Wilson," said Matt Meier, Wilson's manager for Ohio and Kentucky. "UC is a quality university with a growing national fan base. We are honored to be affiliated with them. Coach Kelly is a tremendous coach and teacher who made it clear he wanted to use the best football made, and the best football made is the Wilson GST."
Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods Co., a division of Amer Sports, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of sports equipment. The company designs, manufactures and distributes advanced equipment that helps players improve their performance. Wilson's core categories include Baseball, Football, Basketball, Softball, Bats, Volleyball, Soccer, Youth Sports, Uniforms/Apparel, Golf, Footwear, and Racquet Sports (Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton and Platform Tennis).
University of Cincinnati offers 19 sports programs, with all programs competing in BIG EAST Conference, except for lacrosse, which is competing as an independent this season before joining the BIG EAST in 2008-09. Over the course of the program's history, 230 student-athletes have garnered all-America or academic all-America honors, including the likes of college basketball's Player of the Century Oscar Robertson, 2007 World Series Champion Kevin Youkilis of the Boston Red Sox, and Indianapolis Colts linebacker and 2007 Super Bowl Champion Tyjuan Hagler.