University of Washington

UW to leave Nike; signs with Adidas for seventh-richest deal in college sports

Huskies ink apparel deal with Adidas

The University of Washington signed a $119 million deal with Adidas ending a 20-year deal with Nike.
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The University of Washington signed a $119 million deal with Adidas ending a 20-year deal with Nike.

If you're fond of the Nike logo on all things Washington Huskies, well, you might want to look at getting a new wardrobe.

The school announced Tuesday it would be ending its 20-year partnership with Nike after 2018 and in 2019, it would start a new 10-year pact with Adidas in a deal that's worth roughly $120 million. Switching to Adidas gives UW the seventh-richest apparel deal in college athletics with the largest being UCLA, which has a massive 15-year, $280 million contract with Under Armour.

UW's total value of the deal is more than $120 million and that includes cash, marketing, product and minimum royalty guarantees, according to a proposal submitted to the UW Board of Regents. The agreement has Adidas paying UW $5.575 million in product per year and an average of $5.275 million in cash per year. The document also states Adidas is committing an average of $1.1 million annually to support marketing its partnership with UW.

Adidas's addition of UW gives the German-based apparel giant its 12th collegiate school and makes UW its largest college partner on the West Coast. The company, which has its United States' headquarters in Portland, Ore., counts Louisville and Nebraska among its two largest clients.

Louisville agreed to a 10-year, $167 million deal and Nebraska signed for 11 years for a total of $128 million. Both agreements were made last August.

"The University of Washington is thrilled to establish this partnership with Adidas," Huskies athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in a statement. "We believe this partnership will allow us to provide a new competitive edge to our coaches, student-athletes and our incredible fan base. As we researched Adidas' college partnerships, we were extremely impressed with their product innovation, global brand significance, and most of all the depth of service and attention they provide to their partner schools.

"After meeting with their leadership team, it was clear that Adidas understands what makes Washington special and I believe their passion for this partnership will resonate deeply with all who call themselves Huskies."

Adidas also provided a number of bonuses and incentives. Should the football team reach the national title game, it will receive $250,000. If the Huskies win a national title, the school gets $500,000. Making the College Football Playoff gets UW $125,000 while reaching a New Year's Six Game will bring $100,000. A Pac-12 title will draw $125,000.

The men's basketball team and women's basketball team also have incentive clauses. Should the men win a national title, they'll get $500,000 while a national runner-up finish merits $250,000. Going to the Final Four would allow UW to pocket $200,000; a Pac-12 title would result in a $150,000 payout.

As for the women, a national title would give UW an extra $200,000. A national runner-up finish is worth $75,000 while the Final Four would net the Huskies $50,000.

The university said the agreement is contingent upon a vote from the UW Board of Regents which is expected to take place later in the week.

UW's previous deal with Nike was a 10-year agreement that was set to expire June 30, 2019. Nike was paying UW an average of around $3.5 million a year in product and cash compensation. UW is set to make $3.842 million through the 2017-18 season.

Cohen and UW's administration were in the market for a new deal starting Feb. 1. That was the date Nike granted the right of first refusal and that, in turn, opened the door for any apparel company such as Adidas or Under Armour a 180-day period to sway UW into seeking a new deal.

"Like the University of Washington, Adidas is a respected worldwide brand, and this unique partnership will position us for great success moving forward," Huskies football coach Chris Petersen said in a statement. "We are excited to partner with Adidas, and we believe our student-athletes will benefit greatly from this agreement."

Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark
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