Mahomes, adidas partnership could help Texas Tech separate from the Big 12 pack

Texas Tech athletics

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LAS VEGAS – Patrick Mahomes left Lubbock as one of the best players in program history. But his status as a legend was solidified when he partnered with adidas to launch a 10-year apparel sponsorship that went into effect on July 1, 2024. If Mahomes and Texas Tech weren’t synonymous before, they are now. 

“It is one thing to be an adidas team, it is another to be a Patrick Mahomes team with adidas,” Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire said at media day. “He’s a proud alum, man. He was such a big part of the deal.” 

Texas Tech revealed three uniforms earlier in the month. One more will be unveiled during the season. The new helmet was on display at Big 12 media days in Las Vegas, which began on Tuesday. The Red Raiders brought five players to the event, including starting offensive lineman Caleb Rogers. It was clear that the impact of Mahomes and adidas is already felt in West Texas. 

The super-senior struggled through the Matt Wells ending and the arrival of McGuire, as well as numerous position changes. He’s seen Texas Tech at its lows, and now believes that the partnership with Mahomes represents a new chapter. A chapter with Texas Tech riding high. 

“Being able to be in the photoshoot and being the first team to play and win in those jerseys is something special for this team,” Rogers said. “That was a personal highlight for me at Texas Tech.” 

In his three-year career in Lubbock, Mahomes amassed 11,252 passing yards and 115 total touchdowns in just 32 games. He ended his career as a Red Raider ranked third all-time in school history in passing yards, touchdown passes, and completions. He was the nation’s leading passer in his last season at Texas Tech as a junior in 2016 when he threw for 5,052 yards in 12 games. Mahomes was inducted into the Texas Tech Ring of Honor in 2022. 

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Texas Tech and I’m proud to have helped bring Red Raider Nation into the three-stripe fam,” said Mahomes in a press release last month. “Today is just the beginning of an incredible partnership with adidas, so stay tuned for more to come this fall that we’re excited to be working on together.” 

College football is an exercise in perception with pocketbooks and branding winning out over tradition and history. Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark spent Tuesday morning opining about the future of the conference, which could include cooperate sponsorships on everything from official uniforms to the tablets used by coaches in the booth. Even private equity is on the table.

The goal for the conference is to keep up with the SEC and the Big Ten. That’ll take teams that can win at the highest level. Texas Tech, which hasn’t won an outright conference championship since 1976, believes Mahomes and a large, motivated fan base with oil money can strike it big in the new landscape of college football. 

And why not? Texas Tech spent over $200 million dollars on a south end zone expansion at Jones AT&T Stadium. The team signed a five-star recruit in 2023. The Matador Club is on the cutting edge of NIL. McGuire is the first coach since Sloan to finish with a winning record in conference play in each of his first two seasons. Maybe everything doesn’t run through Lubbock quite yet, but the support of Mahomes and alums like Cody Campbell should help the Red Raiders separate from the pack in the Big 12, according to the players in Las Vegas. 

“As a program and a team, it speaks to what we’re doing at Texas Tech,” Rogers said. “Being at Texas Tech recently sounds like a fantasy. I think we have the best culture. We’re about to add the best facilities and the best uniforms in college football. We just put together the partnership in the country (with adidas and Mahomes).”

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