Nike, Texas agree on record deal

Samuel Williams

Although Texas has seen mixed results on the field the past few years, the program scored one for the record books on Friday.

With a unanimous vote, the UT System Board of Regents agreed to sign the biggest  licensing and apparel deal in collegiate sports history.

“[The contract] totals $250 million with a combination of cash, apparel, uniforms, footwear, other products, internships for our students and funds for non-athletic activities” according to UT President Greg Fenves.

The 15-year deal surpasses Michigan’s $169 million contract, which was previously the largest.

“It’s going to give the resources to the athletics department to maintain one of the top programs in the country,”  Fenves said. “We’re very proud of intercollegiate athletics, we’re very proud of our student athletes, and we want to be able to give all of [them] on the 20 teams the resources to be competitive and successful.”

According to the agreement, the contract “will allow Texas Athletics to continue to recruit the best coaches, staff members, and student-athletes, and to optimize athletics performance and results.”

The contract specifically includes a $20 million up-front payment, over $69 million in guaranteed product, $25 million in guaranteed royalties, $97.5 million to be paid in annual base compensation, and $22.5 million for “support of UT Austin university initiatives (outside Intercollegiate Athletics),” among other terms.

The agreement also specifies for creation of a signature Kevin Durant-Texas line of performance apparel and footwear for UT-Austin.

Additionally, four internships per year at Nike will be awarded to UT-Austin under the terms of the agreement. Two of those will be offered to student-athletes, while the other two will be open to competition from the rest of the student body.

The new contract is not UT’s first experience working with Nike. The two parties signed a contract in August 2000 which lasts through June 2016. This previous deal gave Nike a huge advantage over its competitors in landing one of the largest collegiate brands in the nation.

Specifically, the terms of the previous contract gave Nike the right to match any contract offer made to UT by another brand. It also gave the company exclusive negotiating time.

“The basic framework of the agreement was reached within the exclusive negotiating period,” according to Mike Perrin, UT’s interim athletic director.

Perrin declined to comment as to the competition of other brands for the contract. The University canceled an Oct. 4 meeting with Under Armour.

Fenves said the regents and the athletic board are very excited by the new contract with Nike.

“We viewed this proposed arrangement with Nike over the terms of the agreement as a tremendous opportunity for the intercollegiate athletics of one of the leading programs in the nation to work with one of the leading brands,” Fenves said.

Texas has been the number one seller of T-shirts, hats and other merchandise for nine straight years according to the Collegiate Licensing Company Rankings. With the new contract, the University will look to extend that track record over the next 15 years.