Today, University of Washington athletic officials announced plans for a 10-year agreement that will make adidas the official athletic footwear and apparel partner of the Huskies through June of 2029.
According to the Seattle Times, this new deal ends the UW Huskies’ 20-year partnership with Nike, which has been paying UW about $3.5 million annually in product and cash over the last ten years.
The new adidas deal significantly ups the ante compared to what Nike was offering; the adidas partnership will pay the Huskies $5.275 million annually in cash, $5.57 million annually in product, and $1.1 million annually for marketing, a source with knowledge of the deal told the Seattle Times. This is the seventh richest deal in college sports, according to the News Tribune.
This latest deal marks adidas’ twelfth licensed NCAA program partnership. Moreover, the brand has agreed to future product testing on the Seattle campus due to its proximity to the brand’s Portland headquarters. The partnership will go into effect in the summer of 2019 if it is approved by the UW Board of Regents this week.
“The University of Washington is thrilled to establish this partnership with adidas,” UW Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen said in a statement. “We believe this partnership will allow us to provide a new competitive edge to our coaches, student-athletes and our incredible fan base. As we researched adidas’ college partnerships, we were extremely impressed with their product innovation, global brand significance, and most of all the depth of service and attention they provide to their partner schools. After meeting with their leadership team, it was clear that adidas understands what makes Washington special and I believe their passion for this partnership will resonate deeply with all who call themselves Huskies.”
In September of 2017, adidas and several of its university partners were caught up in a college basketball bribery scandal that unveiled widespread corruption in college basketball. The FBI investigation resulted in the arrest of one adidas executive and two adidas consultant, all of whom are facing federal bribery charges, according to the Seattle Times.
While sentiments on both sides of this new partnership seem positive, the Huskies’ agreement with adidas includes a “mutual ethics clause” that allows both parties to revisit the terms of the deal at any time.
According to the Seattle Times, UW athletics ran a deficit of about $7.6 million in 2016 and nearly broke even in fiscal year 2017. It projects a $1.4 million surplus in 2018.
What do you think of the University of Washington-adidas deal? Are you excited for adidas-branded Huskies merch? Let us know.