The Washington Huskies have leveraged a wave of recent success to negotiate a new endorsement deal with Adidas for a 10-year contract worth as much as $119 Million
When you consider NCAA athletic programs, there are two objectives. Win, and break even. In recent years, the Washington Huskies have learned how to win. Buoyed by the success of the football team, the Washington Men’s Basketball Team suprised with a hugely successful season as well. In fact, both the football team and Men’s Basketball programs are on the upside. Many prognosticators expect both to compete for national championships in the near future.
But college athletics included a spectrum of sports, including softball, rowing, women’s basketball, baseball, soccer and more. While some sports generate revenue for the University of Washington, most sports do not balance the general ledger. Paying for the athletics
To make up the difference, NCAA athletic programs engage in endorsement contracts with sports apparel manufacturers. The deal involves the exclusive rights of sports apparel for the teams at all competitive events and the rights to be featured at the collegiate retail outlets. It makes a lot of sense for Washington to pursue this deal. Per Adam Jude of the Seattle Times, the deal includes:
"” pay the Huskies $5.275 million annually in cash, $5.58 million annually in product and $1.1 million annually for marketing”"
That’s a hefty sum of money. In fact, in the same article, the amount is listed as the seventh most lucrative contract between college athletics and sports apparel in the nation. In the PAC-12, only UCLA’s Under Armour deal of $280 Million over 15 years pays more. The only other Top-11 deal is the $88 Million deal Oregon has with Nike over 11 years. Previously, Washington’s deal was exclusively with Nike a 20 year deal worth about $70 Million.
Adidas needs positive press
The deal is well timed for both Washington and Adidas. With Washington, the team is capitalizing on the recent wave of success by it’s major sports programs. For Adidas, it’s an opportunity to get some positive press. An Adidas executive was implicated in the recent FBI investigation into NCAA Basketball. As the investigations continue, its important for the company to change the narrative with positive developments. Pairing with the squeaky clean Washington Athletics program will serve Adidas well in terms of public perception. Washington becomes the twelfth major NCAA athletic program to align with their products.
This type of infusion is just what UW needs. Collegiate sports competition becomes increasingly more difficult each year. Adding to that, UW needs to compensate key coaches to retain them in the face of annual poaching from other programs. And finally, the brick and mortar training facilities continues to need repairs, and eventually, upgrading to new facilities. Locking in cash of $5,275,000 per year will go far to meeting these increasing costs. College athletics is about winning, and balancing the books.