Let’s just say that Saturday’s matchup with No. 7 Kentucky might have gone to Ole Miss’ heads.
The No. 15 Rebels will wear an uniquely designed helmet for the occasion, one that promotes an outdoor apparel company.
Ole Miss alum Bill Jordan founded Realtree, a Georgia-based company that will put its design on the headgear for the 14th-ranked Rebels for their noon matchup with the Wildcats at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on ESPN.
“We loved this idea from the minute we heard about it,” Ole Miss Athletics Director Keith Carter said in a statement announcing the promotion. “Today’s environment around lead times for any sort of equipment has presented challenges, but teamwork between the Realtree team and our athletics staff has been tremendous. Everyone, including head coach and our student-athletes, was determined, excited and eager to see this concept become reality, and we’re thrilled to launch the partnership and see how it grows in the years ahead. Our players will take the field Saturday wearing an exclusive helmet that will turn heads and generate excitement amongst our students, alumni and fans.”
— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) September 26, 2022
“Our players and coaches are excited to partner with Realtree and wear this unique new helmet and gear,” Ole Miss Coach Lane Kiffin said. “We look forward to seeing what the future holds for this great collaboration.”
Zach Barnett of Football Scoop is not a fan. He writes, “But as an omen, this is terrifying. If Realtree gets the Ole Miss helmet, why wouldn’t Georgia sell its to Vineyard Vines? Stanford to some company that makes overpriced finance bro vests? Ohio State to Faded Glory? And why stop at apparel companies? What’s stopping LSU from replacing the Mike the Tiger emblem with Raising Cane, the mascot of the chicken finger franchise? (Okay maybe not the best example, that one would be awesome.)“
Remember, in college athletics, everything is for sale.
By the way, Saturday’s UK-Ole Miss game is a sellout.