On Wednesday, Nike officially announced a shoe and apparel deal with the University of Michigan that was worth $169 million. The contract begins in the 2016-17 fall season and will run for 11 years through 2027, with an option to extend through 2031. The cash and equipment part of the deal over the guaranteed 11 years is worth $122.3 million, with $65.5 million in cash and $56.8 million in apparel and equipment. There will be another $46.6 million in cash and apparel through the four-year option. The only larger school and apparel deal in the country is Notre Dame’s deal with Under Armour that was worth in the neighborhood of $90 million over 10 years.
Michigan’s current deal with Adidas was worth $8.2 million a year in cash and equipment and was the most lucrative among public schools in the country. The new deal struck with Nike will be worth $11.26 million per year over the course of the next 15 years.
According to reports, Nike was in fact the lowest bidder for the Wolverines new deal. However, given the angst over the much-criticized Adidas deal, Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett felt making the right deal with the right partner was important:
After careful consideration, the right partner for the University of Michigan was Nike. This decision is about more than Michigan athletics; at the core, it is about our University community and it is about two great names reuniting for an opportunity that speaks to more than uniforms and apparel.
This deal dwarfs Nike’s next largest shoe and apparel deal with a public school (Florida State) by two and a half times. Nike gives the Seminoles $4.4 million a year in cash and gear.
Comparatively to other Big Ten Schools, the deal doesn’t even come close to the next largest deals. Ohio State has the next largest deal that is worth about $4.16 million per year in cash and gear with Nike, followed by Wisconsin’s $3.5 million per year contract with Adidas and then Nebraska’s $3 million per year contract with Adidas.
Despite Michigan’s relatively weak performance in both basketball and football over the past few years, the shoe and apparel titan went to the mat for the Wolverines.