published Friday, January 31st, 2014

UT switches to Nike

The University of Tennessee athletic department announced via Twitter Friday morning that the school will switch from Adidas to Nike in 2015.

The Volunteers have been apparel partners with Adidas since 1997, but the current contract between the two expires at the end of June 2015.

Once that deal is up, Nike, who furnishes gear for most of the SEC, will begin providing apparel and equipment for all 20 of Tennessee's varsity sports.

"We were very thorough and deliberate in assessing and evaluating our options with our apparel partner decision," UT athletic director Dave Hart said in Tennessee's release. "Nike is the right partner for the University of Tennessee moving forward. We appreciate our current partner and the strong relationship we have had for many years. We will continue to work together through the end of the existing contract."

According to the agreement between Tennessee and Nike, released later Friday, Nike will pay UT a 'one-time commitment bonus' of $2 million. The deal runs for eight years through the end of June 2023.

For the first half of the deal, UT will receive $1 million annually from Nike, and the yearly base compensation drops to $900,000 for the second half of the deal.

Tennessee will be allowed to spend up $3.4 million on Nike equipment for the first year (2015-16) of the contract. In the second year, that number drops to $2.6 million and then increases by $100,00 each year for the remainder of the deal.

Those costs are earmarked for "game and practice uniforms, competition balls, and footwear," among other items.

Tennessee will receive an additional $200,000 per year from Nike to fund "Nike Elite client services."

Performances bonuses for the football and men's and women's basketball programs are also built into the contract between UT and Nike.

"Nike is especially proud to resume our association with the University of Tennessee" Nike sports marketing director Kit Morris said. "We admire their rich tradition and are enthusiastic to begin working once again with Volunteer student-athletes, coaches, and programs."

Get more on this story at timesfreepress.com and in Saturday’s Times Free Press.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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