Nike

Nike has provided shoes, uniforms, and other items for Tar Heel athletic teams since 1993. The switch to Nike was a big change for UNC's basketball teams, which had worn Converse shoes since 1962. The university's relationship with Nike has not been without controversy. When UNC—Chapel Hill was negotiating a renewal of the contract in 1996, a group of students protested, citing allegations of low wages and poor working conditions for Nike's factory workers in Asia. Student objections continued through the next couple of years and were investigated in detail in a spring 1998 class called Economics, Ethics, and Impacts of the Global Economy: The Nike Example. The course drew national attention, including coverage on ESPN, and had a surprise visitor at the end of the semester when Nike CEO Phil Knight came to campus and sat in on the students' final presentations, which contained multiple recommendations for the company. Nike promised to take a closer look at its labor practices, and the athletic department continued to renew its Nike contracts, with the most recent extension announced in 2018.