BOSSIP Exclusive: Marketing Dynamo Arinze Emeagwali Talks Nike Yardrunners Campaign, Celebrating HBCU Culture, His First Major Shoe Purchase & More!

Yardrunner SZN

Source: Miranda Barnes

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.

Source: Nike Yardrunner campaign/League Twenty Two

Led by HBCU alum and 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:

J. Alphonse Nicholson, North Carolina Central – Band (who you know and love from “P-Valley“)

Peep his solo spotlight video 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 University’s impact on his success, celebrating HBCU culture, his first major shoe purchase 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.

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