The Nebraska Board of Regents voted unanimously to approve a new deal with Adidas on Friday that will have Husker athletes wearing “The Brand with Three Stripes” for the next decade, and the university will be getting a lot more money to do it.
The agreement, according to meeting minutes, is an 11-year deal with a total value of $128,659,000. That includes $64 million in cash over the life of the deal and $64.659 million in apparel and equipment.
“The University of Nebraska and Adidas have been tremendous partners for more than two decades and we are thrilled that it will continue for years to come,” Nebraska Director of Athletics, Shawn Eichorst said. “We share core values, a passion for elite performance, competitive excellence, and innovative approaches to technology. We are honored that our programs will continue to be outfitted with world-class Adidas footwear, equipment and apparel. Nebraska Athletics and Adidas will continue to flourish together, and our boundaries of success are limitless.”
The new deal goes into effect immediately and replaces the last year of the previous agreement, a five-year extension with Adidas signed in 2013, which was set to expire on June 30, 2018. Nebraska will see an increase from $1 million to $3.5 million in cash and from $3.4 million to $5.05 million in product from Adidas for the 2017-18 academic year. The new contract also allows for two look-in periods in 2020-21 and 2023-24 when the parties may “adjust the contract to reflect market value in such a manner that UNL retains its status as an elite Adidas university program.”
Husker athletics first partnered with Adidas in 1995 when Nebraska football was coming off a national championship. Nebraska signed new deals with the company in 2005 and 2013.
“College athletics is the heart of sport in America,” said Mark King, president of Adidas North America. “With Nebraska, we’re not only focused on products for athletes – we’re looking at the entire world of sport. Through innovation and creativity, we’re finding new ways to move athlete performance forward and shape the future of sport. We’re turning the traditional college partnership on its head and reimagining how a sportswear brand and a college can work together.”
The agreement represents a significant financial bump for Nebraska. According to the Portland Business Journal, Nebraska’s 2016-17 payout (listed at $4.19 million) ranked 17th nationally, That put the Huskers behind programs like Connecticut, Cincinnati and Louisville, and ranked sixth in the Big Ten behind Maryland, Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin.
The reported payout for 2017-18 under the new deal ($8.55 million) would have ranked fifth nationally based on last year’s numbers from the Portland Business Journal.
On average, the new agreement with Adidas is worth nearly $11.7 million per year for Nebraska over the lifetime of the deal.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.