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Volume 25 No. 61
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Alabama Five Years Ago Quietly Extended Nike Deal Through '25

Alabama's deal is worth $63M in cash and apparel, and works out to about $5.25M a year
Photo: getty images

Alabama five years ago "quietly" extended its apparel deal with Nike, which many people thought expired at the end of June this year, according to Michael Casagrande of AL.com. UA "never announced the deal," which was done in early September '13 by then-Alabama AD Bill Battle and runs through '25. The extension "increased the value" for UA, though "not near the raises" schools like Texas, Ohio State and UCLA received a few years later. The deal is worth $63M in "apparel and cash" plus a $5M signing bonus, which "works out to" $5.25M a year. That means UA "isn't even among the top 20 in apparel deals," as Nike, Adidas and Under Armour "went on a spending spree" in the years after the '13 extension kicked in. Battle said that Nike was the "only company in play" when the school "looked to lock in a long-term deal." Battle: "We told them to make us an offer we couldn't refuse and they did. So, we took it and we were pleased with it." Casagrande noted the "absence of that prospect of Alabama looking elsewhere" is the "most likely explanation behind its smaller financial bump" compared to schools like UCLA and Texas who switched partners. The idea was to get a long-term deal with "money guaranteed partially" so the school could "know what their budget looked like well into the future." It is not always a "matter of money in decisions like this." Battle said that Nike is the brand "recruits want more than the other brands" and that vote "certainly has some sway." Meanwhile, UA in '14 "signed the most lucrative multimedia-rights deal in the nation" with Learfield that will bring in as much as $160M through '24 (AL.com, 8/8).