Nike outlet: U prepares for new athletic apparel deal after Nike contract expires

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 10, 2013 - 1:02 AM

The University of Minnesota, a “Nike school,” is gearing up for a better deal on its next athletic apparel deal.

hide

University of Minnesota athletic teams — from track and field to women’s hockey to football to baseball — display the iconic Nike swoosh on uniforms, hats, shoes, gloves — even golf balls. Under a seven-year contract with the school, the company provides all of the merchandise.

Photo: ., Star Tribune file photos and illustration

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

At the University of Minnesota’s spring football game, Nike was everywhere. Running back Donnell Kirkwood warmed up on the sidelines, with N-I-K-E in silver letters on the back of his black shoes. An array of coaches and assistants roamed the field — including coach Jerry Kill in a Nike hat and pullover — and each wore the trademark Nike swoosh on their chest. In the gift store inside TCF Bank Stadium, a Nike football featuring the university’s logo sold for $35.

In exchange for a hard-to-miss profile on campus, Nike has been important to the Gophers’ bottom line — the school gets $1 million a year in Nike merchandise, with the company offering everything from shoes, uniforms and gameday warm-ups to weight-training gloves, stopwatches, sunglasses and golf balls.

As the school’s seven-year contract with Nike nears expiration in July 2014, university officials are looking to increase the benefit to the school. Under the current contract, the school also gets $200,000 a year in royalty payments: $10,000 should the Gophers men’s hockey team make the Frozen Four tournament and a 2-for-1 deal on Nike football shoes once the Gophers football team gets 325 pairs.

But other schools have since signed more lucrative apparel contracts with Nike or its competitors. It’s a sign of how such arrangements are now commonplace on the collegiate landscape, and also an indication that the University of Minnesota remains a second-tier customer for apparel companies because of its more-modest tradition of winning.

Alabama — the college football national champion for three of the past four seasons — is in the midst of an eight-year contract with Nike that is valued at $30 million.

Michigan is in the middle of a long-term contract with Adidas — the school switched from Nike — that pays the university $6 million annually in cash and in-kind contributions. Nebraska’s contract with Adidas involves $2.5 million annually in cash and in-kind contributions, and the company pays the school $100,000 if its football team plays in a major bowl game.

Nike pays Minnesota $25,000 if the Gophers get invited to a major bowl game.

There are critics of the apparel deals and what that says about the commercialization of college athletics.

“What does doing business with Nike have to do with higher education?” asked Michael McNabb, a Twin Cities attorney who regularly analyzes the Gophers’ athletic budget. The business that has become collegiate athletics — including the Nike deal — “is just so far removed from what [the] reasons for having a university are,” he said.

But coaches and athletes for the most part appreciate the arrangement.

“I enjoy being a ‘Nike school,’ ” said Katie Richardson, who played third base for the Gophers softball team. “I’ve kind of worn Nike for most of my life.”

As she fielded ground balls at a recent practice, Richardson wore a Gophers maroon-and-gold uniform that featured the Nike swoosh on the chest, back pocket, socks and shoes.

As the University of Minnesota weighs a contract extension, doing business with Nike — which has contracts with seven other Big Ten schools — comes at a price.

In its contract with the school, Nike makes little secret of its motive: “The principal inducement for NIKE’S entrance into this agreement is the exposure that the NIKE brand receives through the prominent visibility of the NIKE Swoosh.”

Nike spokeswoman Cindy Hamilton said the company would not discuss details of its Gophers contract nor its contracts with other schools. “We don’t tend to comment on our contracts,” she said.

The 33-page contract stipulates that the university can be penalized financially if players tape over the Nike logo on their uniforms or shoes; players who cannot wear a Nike shoe for medical reasons must have the reason certified by the team’s doctor. The university must make its coaches available for up to three personal appearances a year on behalf of Nike and even gives Nike the legal ability to use a coach’s nickname in marketing the company.

At most home games, a public address announcer or an electronic message board at a stadium must tell fans that Nike is the “exclusive products supplier” for the school. For a separate $100,000 annual payment to the school, Nike gets eight hockey season tickets and 12 tickets per round of any postseason tournament — part of a large assortment of tickets the company gets to most of the school’s major home-and-away sporting events.

  • related content

  • The Gophers baseball team wears the Nike logo but was exempted from using some Nike gloves and bats.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Carolina 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Detroit
Montreal 7:30 PM
Chicago
Arizona 8:00 PM
Edmonton
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers do against Michigan?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close