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Volume 26 No. 227
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Washington Agrees To Apparel Deal With Adidas After Years With Nike

Nike has been paying Washington about $3.5M annually in product and cash over the past decade
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Nike has been paying Washington about $3.5M annually in product and cash over the past decade
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Nike has been paying Washington about $3.5M annually in product and cash over the past decade
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The Univ. of Washington has agreed to a 10-year, $119M deal with Adidas, making it "one of the richest apparel deals in college athletics," according to Adam Jude of the SEATTLE TIMES. The new deal ends UW's 20-year partnership with Nike, which has been paying UW about $3.5M annually in "product and cash over the past decade." A source said that Adidas has "agreed to pay" UW $5.275M annually in cash, $5.58M annually in product and $1.1M annually for marketing. The deal makes UW the "premier program for Adidas on the West Coast." Arizona State is currently the "only other Pac-12 Conference school affiliated with Adidas." UW's new deal with Adidas, if approved by the school's Board of Regents, will "go into effect on July 1, 2019." UW teams will "continue to wear Nike uniforms and gear" through the '18-19 academic year. Nike was the "only other apparel company involved in the UW negotiations. Meanwhile, with UW's "proximity" to Adidas' Portland offices, the brand has "agreed to future product testing on the Seattle campus" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/11). 

TOP COLLEGE APPAREL DEALS (BY TOTAL VALUE)
SCHOOL
BRAND
TOTAL VALUE
YEARS
ANNUAL VALUE
UCLA
Under Armour
$280M
15
$18.67M
Ohio State
Nike
$252M
15
$16.8M
Texas
Nike
$250M
15
$16.67M
Louisville
Adidas
$160M
10
$16M
Nebraska
Adidas
$128M
11
$11.6M
Michigan
Jordan Brand/Nike
$127.1M
11
$11.56M
Washington
Adidas
$119M
10
$11.9M
Wisconsin
Under Armour
$96M
10
$9.6M
Notre Dame
Under Armour
$90M
10
$9M
Miami
Adidas
$93.6M
12
$7.8M
Oregon
Nike
$88M
11
$8M
Download the
Top College Apparel Deals

ADDED INCENTIVES: In Tacoma, Ryan Clark notes Adidas "provided a number of bonuses and incentives" under the new deal. Should the football team "reach the national title game, it will receive $250,000." If UW "wins a national title, the school gets $500,000." Making the CFP, which the school did in '16, "gets UW $125,000, while reaching a New Year's Six game will bring $100,000." A Pac-12 title "will draw $125,000." Meanwhile, should the men's basketball team "win a national title, they'll get $500,000 while a national runner-up finish merits $250,000." Going to the Final Four would "allow UW to pocket $200,000; a Pac-12 title would result in a $150,000 payout." For the women's basketball team, a national title would "give UW an extra $200,000." A national runner-up finish is "worth $75,000 while the Final Four would net" UW $50,000 (Tacoma NEWS TRIBUNE, 4/11).

LADY OF THE LAKE: In Seattle, Larry Stone writes the Adidas deal moves to the top of UW AD Jennifer Cohen's "greatest hits," as it puts the school "among the heavyweights in college athletics in this important realm." Cohen has the "requisite guts to go with her guile." She "had to have known that dealing with Adidas now would raise some eyebrows, but also that it would achieve the ultimate goal of thrusting" UW forward in the revenue that is "lifeblood to athletic departments." Cohen's "most vexing issue upon being hired" in May '16 was the projected $15M "department deficit she inherited." UW is now projecting a $1.4M surplus for FY '18, which is a "huge achievement, and this apparel deal helps set them up for financial stability for the next decade, at least" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/11).

TURNING UP THE HEAT: In Portland, John Canzano writes Adidas "snapping up UW as a flagship university was a brilliant move." It is one that is "going to add some fun heat" to the UW-Oregon rivalry. Adidas' deal with UW is a "turf play in an ongoing battle between the two apparel and equipment giants," and it "felt like this was the right time for Adidas to swoop" (OREGONLIVE.com, 4/11).