If you were to take a poll on which brand dominates the football market in terms of apparel and gear, more often than not, Nike will be the answer that comes up. However, those times may be shifting and Nike could have a major problem on their hands going forward.
Last month, we reported that the Arizona State Sun Devils were leaving their longtime relationship with Nike to join on with adidas. The deal was rumored to be one of the richest in all of college sports, coming in at eight-years, $33 million, which was nearly double what Nike was offering. Now, reports are surfacing that Nike just lost another big name school to the Three Stripes as the University of Miami has jumped shipped after 27-years with the Swoosh.
Back in 1987, Miami became the first school ever to be outfitted exclusively by one brand when they signed a longterm deal with Nike. Yesterday, Miami athletic director Blake James announced the school received bids from both adidas and Under Armour, but opted to take a deal with the Three Stripes which is rumored to be more lucrative then the contract ASU received. Not only will the deal land Miami more money, but a source told the school that Hurricanes coaches and athletes will receive more apparel and shoes then they ever did with the Nike deal.
Although Nike outfits 45 of the 65 power schools in college football with adidas holding down just 11, it's clear there's a shift in power occuring. adidas now pays out 4 of the most lucrative contracts in college athletics, with the richest going to Michigan at a reported $8.2 million per year. If Nike won't pony up the dough going forward, they're in serious danger of losing more contracts to adidas or other brands, and at risk of losing their top spot.
Another question at hand is, will this effect recruitment of players for Miami? We all know people's love and affinity for Nike, with some top recruits even admitting they signed on with a particular school because of their relationship with the Swoosh. A few months back, Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino ripped the system saying players are steered towards signing with certain schools because of the apparel and shoes they'll receive. Only time will tell if this deal will hinder Miami's ability to land 5-star recruits, but if they keep signing with powerhouse schools and rolling out dope uniform kits and shoes, players will come.