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Why so many Olympic hopefuls are running in all-black, unbranded gear

·1 min

Key Points

An apparel company called Bandit Running is supporting 35 athletes at the U.S. Track & Field Olympic Trials through its Unsponsored Project. The project aims to challenge the traditional sponsorship model and assist up-and-coming athletes. Bandit Running provides unbranded apparel, short-term endorsement deals, and covers expenses for these unsponsored runners. The athletes are wearing all-black, logo-less gear to draw attention to their availability for longer-term sponsorship opportunities. Bandit’s deals have a release clause, allowing athletes to pursue traditional sponsorships if offered. The high costs associated with competing make this initiative crucial for many unsponsored athletes.