The news of Washington’s mega-apparel deal with Adidas sent the Hotline’s research department scurrying.
My interest wasn’t in placing UW’s deal on the national pantheon (it’s comfortably in the top 10).
Instead, the goal was to gain a better sense for the apparel contracts across the Pac-12 and their relation to one another.
We know UCLA is king with the $280 million Under Armour deal, the largest of its kind in collegiate sports history.
And we know the Huskies are the new runner up with their $119 million whopper.
But then … who?
And how much?
I turned to a series of sources, first and foremost the Portland Business Journal’s awesome database — news reports were also helpful — and generated the list below.
Note: The numbers are approximate and based largely, but not exclusively, on the cash and product components of the contracts.
(Apparel deals have expanded in recent years to include a marketing component, on-campus staffing and internship opportunities.
(The deals also carry significant signing bonuses.)
Average annual payments:
UCLA: $18.6 million (Under Armour)
Washington: $12 million (Adidas)
Cal: $8.3 (Under Armour)
Oregon: $8 million (Nike)
Utah: $6.5 million (Under Armour)
Arizona State: $4.2 million (Adidas)
Oregon State: $3.3 million (Nike)
Arizona: $3.1 million (Nike)
Colorado: $3 million (Nike)
Washington State: $2.3 million (Nike)
Reaction to the numbers:
The top-three deals, and five of the top six, are not with Nike.
All in all, the Swoosh represents just seven of the 12 schools.
The $16.3 million disparity between UCLA at the top and WSU at the bottom would itself be the fourth-largest apparel deal in the country, behind only UCLA, Ohio State and Texas.
Oregon obviously has received immense sums from Nike outside the parameters of its apparel contracts, but it’s nonetheless odd to see the Ducks with a lower annual haul than Cal.
(We have learned since the Adidas-UW deal closed that Nike wasn’t willing to pay the Huskies more than it pays Oregon.)
The value of Nike’s deals with Stanford and USC is not known — as private schools, they aren’t required to disclose the terms.
However, multiple sources have told the Hotline that USC’s deal (believed to be in the $5 million annual range) is a fraction of its potential.
The Trojans should be on the same level as Ohio State, Texas and UCLA given their location and the strength of the football brand; yet they’re nowhere close.
Timing isn’t everything, but it’s close to everything.
UCLA hit the jackpot because Under Armour was riding high at the time (spring 2016), wanted a piece of the nation’s No. 2 market and had to fend off competitive bids from Nike and Adidas.
Washington also entered the marketplace at just the right moment, with Adidas oozing cash and looking to chisel away at Nike’s dominance in the Pacific Northwest.
The apparel market within the Pac-12 should settle, at least with the public schools:
Everyone is locked up for the next few years.