University of Tennessee Announces 8-Year Apparel Partnership with Nike

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2014

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley (14) leads the Volunteers onto the field prior to an NCAA college football game against Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Dave Martin/Associated Press

Starting in 2015, the University of Tennessee will officially become a Nike school after agreeing on an eight-year deal with the company.

The school announced the deal in a statement explaining that Nike will provide all athletic programs with uniforms, footwear and other apparel from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2023. In an official statement released by the Volunteers' website, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Dave Hart rationalized the decision:

We were very thorough and deliberate in assessing and evaluating our options with our apparel partner decision. NIKE is the right partner for the University of Tennessee moving forward. We appreciate our current partner and the strong relationship we have had for many years. We will continue to work together through the end of the existing contract.

One of the big deciding factors has to be the financial side, as Nike is offering quite a bit of money to the university as part of the deal. According to the official agreement, Tennessee will earn $1,000,000 in each of the first four years and then $900,000 over the next four.

Additionally, the school will get a bonus in the case of conference and national championships. For example, if the Volunteers win the national title in football, they will receive an extra $100,000.

Of course, the other factor in this decision is the apparel itself. Bleacher Report's Michael Felder is one person who sees this as a big upgrade going forward:

Congrats to Tennessee on making that Nike move. Welcome to fresh & fly gear country.

— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) January 31, 2014

On the other end of the process is Adidas, which loses its partnership with Tennessee that it had since 1997. This is the second high-profile team to part ways with the company this month after Notre Dame decided to sign a deal with Under Armour

There are dozens of factors that go into these decisions and hundreds of people involved in the process, but this is certainly a bad day for Adidas, as it loses yet another client to a competitor. 


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