Nike’s mission is to alter the game for everyone by removing obstacles and fostering a sense of camaraderie in the world. Nike continues to support the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) community through purpose-driven products, storytelling, recruitment, and investments, such as our 2025 Target to invest $10 million in HBCUs and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the form of scholarships and academic partnerships. Nike demonstrates this commitment to taking action to improve the world.
To honor the rich tradition, history, and contributions of HBCUs and their alums on international sport and culture, Nike Yardrunners was established in 2020 as part of these efforts. The program, which Nike HBCU graduates started, gives teams at Nike the chance to collaborate with HBCU trailblazers and community creatives to produce motivational storytelling and acts of generosity with and for the community.
Nike Yardrunners’ newest iteration is centered on HBCU alums who are creating a legacy that will motivate younger generations. The original Yardrunners acknowledged HBCU business owners and entrepreneurs as leading cultural influencers. A discussion of the HBCU student-athlete, frequently underrepresented but excelling on and off the field, was then covered.
Co-ownership remains the foundation of Yardrunners. Nike is collaborating with the community through Yardrunners 3.0 to share real stories, co-create culturally relevant products, award scholarships, engage with students during homecoming, and create networking opportunities through Nike’s university recruiting team, which was founded in 2021 with a clear focus on attracting applicants from a variety of pipelines.
Beginning on Thursday, October 6th, Nike.com will sell items from the 2022 Yardrunners line, which includes clothing and accessories from 19 HBCUs, including the most recent additions of Prairie View University, Hampton University, and Grambling State University.
Additionally, using the iconic Nike Dunk silhouette to showcase four institutions—Tennessee State University, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, and North Carolina A&T University—Nike has co-created HBCU-licensed footwear with the community. Nike collaborated with four black HBCU and Yardrunners women on the designs, combining elements from their experiences at each school to genuinely bring these collections to life.
Students will get first access to the shoes at a nearby NBHD Nike store on October 7 in addition to on SNKRS. The shoes will then be available to the general public the week of each university’s homecoming.
The Nike HBCU Collection is available here.
Introducing the 2022 Yardrunners Class
Brianna Baker (@_brie.b), Spelman College: Founded ‘Justice for Black Girls,’ a social justice education space that serves Black girls’ needs for protection, safety, and belonging.
Faith Daniels (@walkbyfaaith), Grambling State University: The 2021-2022 Miss GSU uses her platform to advocate for those who suffer from mental health illnesses in the African American community. She continues the legacy forged by her mother, who was the 1983-1984 Miss GSU.
Bilal Issifou(@thereallbilal), NC A&T University: Native to Togo, West Africa, Bilal founded tech-based start-up Unchained Inc., which has helped hundreds of HBCU students and graduates get jobs and internships at Fortune 500 companies.
Brandon ‘Jinx’ Jenkins (@brandonjinx), Morehouse College: Brandon is an accomplished journalist, TV host, award-winning podcast host, photographer, and DJ.
Amber Kuykendal (@amberkuykendall)l, Texas Southern University: Now a pro golfer, Amber helped lead TSU to its first SWAC Women’s Golf Championship in team history in 2017.
Jae Murphy (@jaemurphy), Howard University: International tour/nightclub DJ, executive music producer, songwriter, and actor who wants to continue to peacefully push the culture to break social barriers and unify all by creating a diverse, global sound of music for a timeless lifetime.
Chidi Okezie (@chidibangbang), Hampton University: The 2015 Hampton University graduate anchored the Nigerian mixed 4×400-meter relay to an Olympic qualifying time and Nigerian national record of 3 minutes, 14.09 seconds.
Bilonda Tshimanga (@bilonda13), Prairie View University: Created a fitness business in hopes of teaching women the importance of a healthy lifestyle, encouraging women to achieve their fitness goals.