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The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), the oldest HBCU athletic conference, has partnered with sporting goods and outdoor retailer Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The new multi-year partnership is created to focus on establishing meaningful community initiatives across the markets that the CIAA has its footprint. The partnership will activate and amplify grassroots efforts, such as youth outreach and mentoring programs, that are inclusive of student-athletes and administrators from across the conference.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Academy Sports + Outdoors. This is a great opportunity to work jointly with an industry leader to develop impactful programming within our communities,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “We value partnerships that provide our membership with access to resources and opportunities while allowing our conference to uniquely engage our fans and alumni through collaborative efforts.”

Academy Sports + Outdoors will have exposure and engagement with the passionate CIAA fan bases throughout the conference.

“Academy Sports + Outdoors is proud and excited to partner with one of America’s oldest athletic conferences, who has a rich tradition of athletic excellence, educational opportunity and community involvement,” said Lawrence Lobpries, Academy Sports + Outdoors’ senior vice president of marketing. “Through this new partnership, we’re excited to implement impactful initiatives that are inclusive for everyone in our local communities.”