With Michigan’s athletic wide contract deal with Adidas coming to a close in 2016, some fans want a new deal with Adidas, while a good number of the Michigan faithful are clamoring for a switch back to Nike, and a movement to switch to Under Armour has some push behind it as well.
Yesterday, the three apparel giants made their pitch to the Wolverines. Nike and Under Armour did so with a giant banner on their corporate buildings, and Under Armour went with a little smaller touch.
In 2014, a report from the Portland Business Journal listed the deal between Michigan and Adidas as the largest apparel deal in the country, valued at about $8.2 million. The Wolverines get $4.4 million in equipment and apparel, and another $3.8 million in cash annually from Adidas.
Interestingly enough, a clause in that contract between the two giants also says that any time a school signs a contract paying a school more than the $8.2 million that Adidas is shelling out to the Wolverines, that they revise the deal in an effort to keep UM on top. Notre Dame signed a 10- year deal with Under Armour in 2014 worth more than $9 million annually, and that’s currently widely regarded as the richest apparel contract to date.
The most Nike has paid a school? $4.4 million to Florida State in 2013-2014 according to MLive.
For a lot of people, Michigan and Nike are synonymous dating back to the Lloyd Carr or Charles Woodson days, when the mesh jersey came in only belly-button length and gave the Wolverines one of the most iconic looks in all of college football. Still, others would welcome a new era ushered in with Under Armour, and there seem to still be a select few out there who haven’t been completely scared off by the silly alternates the past few seasons, and want to stay with Adidas.
This is just the beginning. As 2016 gets closer, expect the gestures from these three companies to get bigger and bigger, and the competition to land the storied Michigan program to get more and and more heated. It’s going to be fun to watch unfold.
Regardless of what company Michigan ultimately chooses, expect the deal to be worth some serious coin, and for unlimited khakis to be located somewhere in the fine print of the deal as well.