The Austin American Statesman reported Wednesday that Texas has reached a new agreement with Nike that will give the Horns the richest uniform and apparel deal in college sports.
No details have been released, and the UT Board of Regents must sign off on the contract before it becomes official, but sources say that the pact is richer than the $169 million deal that the University of Michigan recently signed with Nike.
Former AD Steve Patterson had made it clear that he wanted to test the waters and see what other providers -- Under Armour and Adidas specifically -- might be willing to pay to land Texas. Nike has a right of first refusal in their contract with Texas so they were always going to get the last word, and interim AD Mike Perrin has quietly worked in the background to get the matter settled.
While we don't know the details yet, we can take a look at the Michigan-Nike deal and have a good idea of what is to come.
According to the contract released by the Michigan athletic department, the university's deal with Nike is worth $169 million over 15 years. Nike paid Michigan $12 million upfront with the signing of the deal. Nike will supply all Michigan athletic programs with uniforms, footwear, apparel and equipment and will pay $77 million in cash, $80 million in apparel.
Over the first 10 years of the contract, Nike will pay $4.8 million per year in cash with incremental increases moving it to $5.3 million by the 11th year. Michigan has an option to pick up a four-year extension at that time, and Nike would then pay the Wolverines $5.8 million per year.
For apparel and products, Michigan will receive $5.3 million in the first year of the deal. The figure will be lowered to $4.7 million in year two and rise by $100,000 per year until reaching $5.6 million in year 11.
The Michigan-Nike contract is actually worth more to the Wolverines than the numbers in the contract. Nike will continue to pay Michigan 15% in annual royalties. Nike also guarantees that the royalties will be at a minimum, $1.7 million a year.
As far as the chatter about "leaving money on the table," by not letting others fully participate in the process (including rumors of Under Armour offering $200 million), Texas will have the best contract until the next elite Power 5 program comes up for renewal.
Texas will continue to work with the #1 vendor in the business, which means everything stays in place, there are no growing pains with a new vender over uniforms or store merchandise. Nike will use us (and Michigan, and Alabama, and North Carolina, and others) to trumpet that they are still the industry leader when it comes to providing apparel for the iconic programs in college sports. The four teams that took part in the first college football play off in 204-15, along with all the teams that participated in the NCAA Final Four are Nike programs.