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