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OSU Announces "Socially Responsible" Apparel Deal

Ohio State University has announced a new agreement that will consolidate nearly all of the school’s apparel licensing into a single deal. OSU says the licensing agreement with manufacturer J. America and retailer Fanatics will send the school $97 million over the next ten years. In exchange, J. America will make and Fanatics will sell all OSU apparel outside of the school’s lucrative deal with Nike. OSU says licensing and apparel revenue is now used to fund nearly 5,000 need-based scholarships, 600 grant-in-aid scholarships, and to boost library collections. Ohio State says Florida-based Fanatics will create 300 full-time jobs with a new distribution center opening next year in Frazeysburg, Ohio. OSU saw pressure from student and labor activists to abandon a deal with Silver Star, a Texas company accused of using sweatshop labor. OSU has not said where the new gear will be made. OSU says it will also partner with Verite, an internationally-recognized expert on global labor rights issues.