Duke AD Kevin White said the school's relationship with Nike remains "as strong as ever" nearly six months after F Zion Williamson's shoe blowout against UNC, according to Joedy McCreary of the AP. Duke has been a Nike school since '92, and most recently signed a 12-year contract with the brand in '15. Duke has "not disclosed the financial terms of the agreement." White said that Nike representatives were in Durham the morning following the Williamson incident to "straighten things out." When Williamson returned to action in the ACC Tournament after missing six games with a sprained knee, he "did so in a pair of specially modified Nike Kyrie 4 shoes." White said of the modified sneakers, "They were here instantly ... and did anything and everything they could to provide him with footwear that he would need and should be accommodated with. He’s just such a phenomenal athlete. I don’t have words for that. But they were very attentive to the needs and interests of Zion, and have always been very attentive to the needs and interests of Duke University. I don’t think we could have a better partner" (AP, 7/31).
Marketing and Sponsorship
The Univ. of New Mexico's athletic department is "finalizing a multimedia rights deal that is likely to bring in significantly less money" than its previous contract with Learfield IMG College, according to Ryan Boetel of the ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL. The original Learfield IMG College contract "appeared to guarantee UNM Athletics would get" more than $5M this upcoming school year. But UNM AD Eddie Nunez said that an "'unsigned' agreement changed the details of the contract a few years ago," and the school "would have received less" than the $5M included in the original contract. UNM "agreed to end the guaranteed revenue deal" a year early. Nunez said that the school now "plans to replace it with one with another media rights partner that likely will give the university a percentage share of profits instead of a guaranteed amount." He added that he "hopes the pending deal will bring in" about $3.5-4M during the upcoming school year, but acknowledged it "could be less." Nunez also said that he "expects the new multimedia rights contract to be signed and approved within the next few weeks, before the school year starts" (ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, 8/1).