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The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)
Memphis signed a new five-year, $11.25 million contract extension with Nike in December. The agreement ensures every team in the Memphis athletics department will continue to receive shoes, apparel and equipment from the Beaverton, Ore., company.
It marks the continuation of a department-wide relationship between Memphis and Nike that was formed in 2008. This is the second five-year extension the Tigers have agreed to with Nike since the original contract.
"Our decision to continue our agreement with Nike is first and foremost the fact that our student-athletes and our coaching staff want to be a Nike program," Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said in a statement. "Their innovations, designs and superior customer service have been truly incredible. This new 5-year agreement is a very strong statement on the relationship we are building together and the future for Tiger athletics. We are honored to remain a part of the Nike family."
Here's a look at what other universities around the state receive from apparel contracts.
Tennessee linked with Nike in 2015, agreeing to an eight-year deal for nearly $4 million per year paid in merchandise credit and cash. The deal also included a $2 million signing bonus.
Little more than a year later, Tennessee added three years to the contract to extend it through the 2025-26 academic year and added to the annual value. The total 11-year deal is worth more than $50 million, with $40.2 million coming in product allotment and $11.6 million coming in the base compensation.
The original contract called for Nike to pay Tennessee $1 million for each of the first four years of the contract and $900,000 in the final three years. The amended deal pays Tennessee $1 million annually until 2022-23, then increases to $1.2 million in the final three years. The amended deal also increased the annual total product allotment value by $1 million per year, rising to $4.5 million in the final year of the deal in 2025-26. Tennessee was an Adidas school since 1997 until it made the 2015 switch to Nike.
Before signing a three-year contract with Nike on July 1, 2015, MTSU relied on third-party vendors for a sizable portion of its athletic apparel. Kortne Gosha, MTSU associate athletic director and chief operating officer, spearheaded MTSU's relationship with Nike before the two came to terms on their current contract, the details of which were obtained through an open records request.
With Nike as its exclusive supplier, MTSU receives apparel, uniforms, footwear and equipment at a wholesale rate equal to a 50 percent discount from Nike. Gosha said the university spends about $400,000 to $500,000 annually on Nike products, which is on top of the annual product allotment Nike provides MTSU's three flagship programs - football, men's basketball and women's basketball - at no expense as part of their contract, which expires June 30.
Women's basketball is provided 75 pairs of shoes, 18 basketballs, 25 bags, 25 warm-up outfits, 48 pairs of socks, $5,000 (wholesale value) for camps and $2,500 (retail value) for Nike Elite apparel, which is simply more apparel for coaching staff dedicated to raising brand awareness.
Men's basketball gets 75 pairs of shoes, 24 bags, 24 warm-up outfits, $3,000 (wholesale value) for camps and $7,500 (retail value) for Nike Elite apparel.
Football is provided 100 jerseys in the first contract year, 100 more in the third contract year, $25,000 for Nike Elite apparel, $150,000 for its team product allotment (any game-day products), 500 T-shirts for camps, 100 pairs of cleats for each bowl game berth and a total of $10,000 ($5,000 in retail value plus another $5,000 in cash) for a conference championship. The athletic department gets $4,000 for Nike Elite apparel to be allocated at athletic director Chris Massaro's discretion.
"Throughout the agreement, we've used the relationship with Nike and leveraged it to create this perception that hey, not only can Oregon do this, not only can Baylor do it, but we can do it at Middle Tennessee," Gosha said. "With the number of uniforms we have, the things that we provide to our student-athletes, we've kind (of) set ourselves apart from our peers."
Gosha said MTSU has been working with Nike for about a year on a new contract, and the two sides are nearing an agreement.
"The financial implication of that agreement is going to (be) much superior to the current one," he said. "It's going to be light years ahead of where we are, and we hope to have that done by the end of this month."
Vanderbilt has an exclusive contract with Nike through 2023, a deal that was initially struck in 2014 and extended in 2015. Even before that, the Commodores had used Nike in football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball. The current contract simply brought Vanderbilt's non-revenue sports into the Nike deal.
Vanderbilt, a private university, does not disclose terms of its contract.
Austin Peay announced in September it had entered into a multi-year agreement with Under Armour beginning with the 2017-18 school year to provide on-field and training gear for all of the athletic department's Division I programs.
Belmont announced in May the school had entered into a multi-year agreement with Under Armour beginning in fall 2018. Belmont's men's and women's basketball programs will complete the final year of their existing agreement with Nike and transition to Under Armour in 2019-20.
Tennessee reporters Mike Wilson, Erik Bacharach and Adam Sparks contributed to this report.
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