It’s the end of an era on Sunday as several schools switch apparel providers to start the new fiscal year on July 1st but perhaps nobody is making a bigger move than Georgia Tech, which is finally ditching Russell Athletic in favor of a much more modern brand in adidas.
The move will be a welcome one for head coach Paul Johnson when he goes out on the road to recruit but the changeover is having one unintended consequence for the school’s famous mascot, Buzz: new shoes. Per the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Yellow Jacket with legs is going to have to ditch his iconic Chuck Taylors that have been a part of the outfit from the very beginning and will instead be sporting a new set of custom adidas sneakers as part of the new deal with the school.
The Chuck Taylors go back with Buzz since the school recognized him as its official mascot in 1980. The student who created the costume, Richard Bland, incorporated the Converse sneakers into the uniform, and they’ve remained ever since.
The costume has had slight modifications over the years, but the black Chuck Taylors became a recognized part of the outfit. A story in the institute’s alumni magazine in 2017 noted that “Buzz always wears black Converse high tops and white gloves.”
While it is going to be a little different seeing the mascot with new kicks for the team’s opener in September, the move isn’t exactly surprising. After all, Chuck Taylors are produced by Converse, which is in turn owned by adidas’ biggest rival Nike.
Not even some 40 years of history can survive corporate rivalry it seems.