Nike’s New $169 Million Contract with Michigan Richest in College Sports

Nike announces possible U.S. expansion ahead of Obama visit
Ann Arbor, MI

The money rolling in for college athletics just took another step upwards as the University of Michigan announced a new $169 million deal with sports apparel giant Nike. The new contract now stands as the richest sponsorship deal in all of college sports.

The Adidas deal with UofM’s Wolverines expires in July of 2016 and the school has been evaluating offers from that company as well as its competitors Under Armour and Nike. And we now know that Nike has emerged the winner of that bidding war.

The university announced the details of its new contract on Wednesday.

“After careful consideration, the right partner for the University of Michigan was Nike,” athletic director Jim Hackett said this week. “This decision, this partnership is about more than Michigan athletics; at the core, it is about our University community and it is about two great names reuniting for an opportunity that speaks to more than uniforms and apparel.”

“According to contract details released by the Michigan athletic department,” MLive Media’s Brendan F. Quinn reported, “the university’s deal with Nike is worth $169 million over 15 years, making it by far the richest of all apparel deals in collegiate athletics. The contract, which will supply all 31 U‐M athletic programs with uniforms, footwear, apparel and equipment, will pay $76.8 million in cash and $80.2 million in apparel.”

The new deal comes with several perks including internships for three Michigan students at Nike’s headquarters.

The contract also stipulates that Nike will “collaborate throughout the agreement on innovation initiatives in sports technology, design and best practices including at least two community events per year that support and celebrate education in health and wellness initiatives.”

The contract pairs Nike and Michigan through 2027 and renews a relationship that lasted from 1994 to 2007.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at