UT deal with switch to Nike worth around $35 million

Adidas unveiled a new-look Tennessee uniform on its Twitter feed in August, 2013. UT announced it is ending a relationship with the company in favor of Nike, ending what is believed to be a 19-year relationship.

(adidas)

Adidas unveiled a new-look Tennessee uniform on its Twitter feed in August, 2013. UT announced it is ending a relationship with the company in favor of Nike, ending what is believed to be a 19-year relationship. (adidas)

The University of Tennessee will drop its partnership with adidas and switch to Nike in July 2015 for an eight-year deal that is worth around $35 million and could bring even more money to UT.

"We were very thorough and deliberate in assessing and evaluating our options with our apparel partner decision," UT athletic director Dave Hart said in a school release on Friday. "Nike is the right partner for the University of Tennessee moving forward. We appreciate our current partner and the strong relationship we have had for many years. We will continue to work together through the end of the existing contract."

The department wide deal will net UT $7.6 million in cash, along with a $2 million signing bonus, $23.7 million in Nike products and another $1.6 million in services. Other performance-based bonuses mentioned in the contract released by the school could increase that total.

Among the performance-based bonuses UT would receive from Nike:

Football: Play in SEC championship ($10,000), win SEC championship ($20,000), play in CFP game ($25,000), play in national championship game ($50,000), win national championship ($100,000).

Men's basketball: win SEC tournament championship ($10,000), NCAA Final 4 appearance ($25,000), win national championship game ($50,000).

Women's basketball: win SEC tournament ($5,000), NCAA Final 4 appearance ($10,000), win national championship game ($15,000).

"We’re very excited about our new partnership with Nike, but we’ve also had a great relationship with adidas," UT football coach Butch Jones said during an interview with The Sports Animal. "We’re going to continue that great relationship through the rest of the contract. But in moving forward we are excited about that news today."

The switch will sever UT's partnership with adidas, which the Vols and Lady Vols have worn since 1997. That contract, which is an extension of one signed in 2004, ends on June 30, 2015.

“Nike is especially proud to resume our association with the University of Tennessee” said Kit Morris, Nike Sports Marketing Director, in a statement released by UT. “We admire their rich tradition and are enthusiastic to begin working once again with Volunteer student-athletes, coaches, and programs.”

UT is the second high-profile college athletics program to sever ties with adidas during this college football offseason. Notre Dame announced plans to switch from adidas to Under Armour last week.

Related link: Tennessee's All-Sport Agreement With NIKE

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Comments » 10

atnvol#283282 writes:

This has been overdue.....it was a mistake to sign with Addidas.

CASEXX writes:

A little like joining an evil empire?

twilson1028#1422474 writes:

Say goodbye to the traditional orange and white uniforms.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

This is bottom line about money. Tennessee needs it desperately and they are playing the ole cable TV switch game.
Until football becomes relevant again there is a huge financial hole in the athletic department.
Bama Dave is trying to play the cash flow game to fill in the holes. More cutbacks were announced this week with no public attention.
I want to do well but season tickets are competing with 60-80" TV's, home grilling and the ability to "Mr Click" a losing effort.
The SEC got greedy screwing their season ticket holders and donors in programs that are not competitive, AKA Vols.
IF Butch stumbles this year the pressure increases on the bottom line. Even the LV's BB is no longer a desired ticket as shown in the arena this year.
College athletics for many schools are choking on the cost to be competitive.
Just like America, the haves are getting richer and the have nots are eating beenie weenies!

Snapshot writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

This is bottom line about money. Tennessee needs it desperately and they are playing the ole cable TV switch game.
Until football becomes relevant again there is a huge financial hole in the athletic department.
Bama Dave is trying to play the cash flow game to fill in the holes. More cutbacks were announced this week with no public attention.
I want to do well but season tickets are competing with 60-80" TV's, home grilling and the ability to "Mr Click" a losing effort.
The SEC got greedy screwing their season ticket holders and donors in programs that are not competitive, AKA Vols.
IF Butch stumbles this year the pressure increases on the bottom line. Even the LV's BB is no longer a desired ticket as shown in the arena this year.
College athletics for many schools are choking on the cost to be competitive.
Just like America, the haves are getting richer and the have nots are eating beenie weenies!

What exactly are you trying to say with your comment, "the SEC got greedy screwing their season ticket holders and donors in programs that are not competitive"?

Bama Dave, really? Let me guess, you think you could do a better job, right?

How are those beenie weenies tasting for you?

stevefromjasper writes:

in response to Snapshot:

What exactly are you trying to say with your comment, "the SEC got greedy screwing their season ticket holders and donors in programs that are not competitive"?

Bama Dave, really? Let me guess, you think you could do a better job, right?

How are those beenie weenies tasting for you?

Maybe he's saying that the SEC doesn't care that the season ticket holder paid $50 - $80 for a football ticket. If TV wants to schedule kickoff at noon in 95 degree September heat or 8 pm. in November, that's what is going to happen. Same with playing weeknight basketball games at 9 p.m. Eastern Time ! ! ! 9 p.m. ! ! ! The season ticket holder has bought the ticket, so no need to worry about him.

Snapshot writes:

in response to stevefromjasper:

Maybe he's saying that the SEC doesn't care that the season ticket holder paid $50 - $80 for a football ticket. If TV wants to schedule kickoff at noon in 95 degree September heat or 8 pm. in November, that's what is going to happen. Same with playing weeknight basketball games at 9 p.m. Eastern Time ! ! ! 9 p.m. ! ! ! The season ticket holder has bought the ticket, so no need to worry about him.

You make some very valid points. I just didn't understand his comment about the SEC screwing ticket holder and donors in programs that weren't competitive. How is it different for those and the teams at the top?

The fact is tv revenue is what colleges depend on, and they are going to do what it takes to accommodate the networks. Do I always like it, no. But what is the alternative?

johnlg00 writes:

I guess the money and apparel in the contract are the main benefits, but those performance bonuses look a little anemic, coming from such a hugely profitable company that wants to be associated with winners.

vut5686#1405392 writes:

What is missing is the value of the current contract; how much do we gain by changing? While everybody reads a lot into these deals, should not UT..and every athletic department, go after competitive bidding when a contract expires? Seems to be just sound business, and a management responsibility...hence..no headline. They are just doing their job.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to vut5686#1405392:

What is missing is the value of the current contract; how much do we gain by changing? While everybody reads a lot into these deals, should not UT..and every athletic department, go after competitive bidding when a contract expires? Seems to be just sound business, and a management responsibility...hence..no headline. They are just doing their job.

I could be wrong, but I would think that UT as a state-supported school would be required to seek competitive bids. The negotiations probably should be kept quiet, but when an agreement is reached, it should certainly be announced with all the relevant figures stated.

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