It's the end of an era in Seattle as the Washington Huskies' $119 million apparel deal with Adidas moves forward, bringing closure to a two-decade run with Nike. As the ink dries on the new contract, more details are surfacing about what may have triggered the move.
As noted by The Seattle Times, sources have indicated Nike was unwilling to pay the Huskies more than the $88 million 11-year extension it granted the Oregon Ducks in November. And when Washington athletic director Jennifer Cohen spoke to the UW Board of Regents yesterday, she all but confirmed the footnote, confirming that Adidas' offer was worth nearly $20 million more than Nike's highest bid.
According to Seattle Times reporter Adam Jude, the total number, including yearly product and marketing budgets, would actually be closer to $40 million more than Nike's best offer. Furthermore, the Huskies' current deal with Nike amounts to around $775,000 cash annually, while the Adidas deal will bring the team nearly seven times as much with $5.275 million every year.
Furthermore, Jude says Adidas will give the Huskies a $3 million signing bonus. Along with potential payouts for winning Pac-12 or national titles, this could put the deal's lifetime total at over $125 million.
While the ties between the Swoosh and UW were strong, few schools have a relationship with Nike like that of Oregon, which dates back to co-founders Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight meeting on the school's track team, and has provided the university with countless exclusive apparel and footwear items throughout the years.
Mark King, president of Adidas North America, issued the following statement on the new deal: "When you think about college sports in America, and especially in the Pac-12, University of Washington has created an extraordinary program for all of its athletes—men and women—across all of its sports. What’s most exciting for me in this new partnership is how much we believe in each other. The Huskies are consistently pushing the envelope, and at Adidas, we’re always looking to create new and different things for the world of sports. Together we’re ready to propel the Huskies to new heights and co-create the future of college sports.”