The Ohio State Buckeyes have earned bragging rights on the football field after winning at least 12 games in each of the last four seasons under head coach Urban Meyer and winning last year’s inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship.
They now have more bragging rights in the financial aspect of college sports as well.
According to Chris Davey of OSU.edu, Ohio State and Nike signed a 15-year contract extension Thursday. “The majority of the benefits take effect in August 2018, when the previous contract would have expired,” per Davey.
Dave Briggs of the Toledo Blade added that the deal is worth $252 million in total, "including $215 million in cash and products."
Rob Kunz of Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Ohio reacted to the contract:
Rob Kunz @RobKunz_
The #OhioState deal with Nike is unreal. Think about this...OSU brand on same level as Jordan, Tiger, Bo Jackson and LeBron at their peaks.2016-1-14 23:52:40
Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake commented on the deal, per Davey: “The comprehensive nature of this partnership is a win for all Ohio State students. The expanded commitment by Nike will support access, affordability and excellence for Buckeye students and student-athletes across our campus.”
President and general manager of Nike North America Joaquin Hidalgo also remarked on the contract extension, per Davey:
The Ohio State University has been a NIKE partner for over two decades and we’re delighted to extend that partnership with the school through the 2033 academic year. NIKE and Ohio State share similar values of innovation and a commitment to excellence, and we look forward to an exciting future both on and off the field for years to come.
This is not the first time the Buckeyes have been in the news for financial reasons in the offseason. Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal recently noted that Ohio State’s football team was the most valuable program in the country in 2015 at a value of $946.6 million. It was the program’s second straight year on top of those rankings.
In regard to Thursday’s contract extension with Nike, DJ Byrnes of Eleven Warriors pointed out that “the deal surpasses Nike's then-record 15-year, $250 million agreement with Texas and its 11-year, $169 million deal with Michigan.”
Buckeyes fans have watched their football team handle the archrival Wolverines in 11 of the last 12 years, including a 42-13 beatdown in Ann Arbor during the 2015 season, which was Jim Harbaugh’s first campaign as Michigan’s head coach.
Now, Buckeye Nation can add Thursday’s Nike deal as another way their program has surpassed Michigan’s in recent years.