Michigan Signs With Nike Comment Count

Brian July 6th, 2015 at 4:12 PM

This has been a fait accompli for a few weeks now; it is now official:

Also press release.

Creepy divorce metaphor aside, this is likely to please everyone. We have a Best Of Adidas post being assembled and it's a doozy. Around here we started calling them the Only Incompetent Germans after Glenn Robinson's jersey exploded in a cloud of fibers for the third or fourth time.

Nike's not perfect—in fact the only Nike tag we have on the blog is "nike would like you to wear this aerodynamic fez"—but the athletes really wanted Nike according to internal surveys. A lot of the fans really wanted Nike according to Sam Webb, who would know. Even those who were pretty indifferent to the brand of clothing they're wearing scoffed at the many and diverse fashion crimes perpetrated on the best uniforms in sports. And so the department acquiesced even though there were reports that the Adidas offer was worth significantly more.

Yes: the athletic department made a decision based on something other than making revenue go up. Even if you don't really care what symbol is on Michigan's jerseys, that has to feel good.

No numbers yet. Those will be announced next week. Current details:

  • Contract runs to 2027 with a Michigan option to extend to 2031.
  • Contract starts August 1st of next year.
  • Michigan can use "Jumpman" apparel for their basketball teams—apparently this is a big deal.
  • The Daily's Zach Shaw reports that employees were told that Michigan will be Nike's "top deal." I think they say that to all the girls.

I don't think uniformz are off the table unless the AD says they're off the table; that will be the next thing to watch for.



July 6th, 2015 at 4:24 PM ^

I don't disagree there.  I worry slightly about reverting to the dull almost-orange.  I'll take what some people claim is "highlighter yellow" over the dull orange everyday and twice on Sunday.

If they can keep it bright without it being damn near Oregon, I'll be happy.  Couldn't care less about the logo.  Bright maize, uniforms that don't explode.  That's all I care about.


July 6th, 2015 at 4:39 PM ^

Yes, and adidas had a trademark on what they called "sun."  Neither are close to the historical "maize" that the University started with (pale, light yellow).

According to wikipedia, this is the official maize:

Which I think we would all say is a little off.

And the same Maize (tm) or the same Sun (tm) can be used on different materials and look differently, even though it's the same color.

My point is that sometimes even the Nike Maize looked super bright (away pants) and that I think a lot of people used the brightness of adidas' Sun to complain about adidas, when in actuality, there were instances where Nike's Maize was very bright.

In my opinion (JMO), the brighter the better to a certain point.  Exhibit A:  UTL.


July 6th, 2015 at 4:16 PM ^

Dave Brandon does not understand this...

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"And so the department acquiesced even though there were reports that the Adidas offer was worth significantly more"


July 6th, 2015 at 6:03 PM ^

I think the "Harbaugh effect" will make up the difference. The hype and excite around the program has already increased ticket sales and corporate sponsorships/parnterships. And getting back to winning will do so even more.  I'm betting the cost of skyboxes and corporate sponsorships will increase as will merchandise sales (as a result of Michigan winning, renewed excitement among the fanbase, bandwagon effect and more desireable gear from Nike).  My guess is all that should be enough to make up the revenue gap and then some. I'd expect ticket prices to rise in the future - not to offset revenue gaps but in response to increasing demand.


July 6th, 2015 at 4:16 PM ^

I have a hard time envisioning him doing a better job in his short time here. I bet if we pushed him he could get Nebraska to officially accept we won the 1997 national title before he retires


July 6th, 2015 at 7:16 PM ^

I don't think a lot of the fan base is opposed to novelty uniforms if they are done sparingly and cleverly.  For football, not more than once a season and not every season (and when done, with a story to go with them).  Basketball,  hockey, baseball, softall you could rotate in more often.

carlos spicywiener

July 6th, 2015 at 4:22 PM ^

I know I'm in the minority, but some of the alternate uniforms look good. See: the Sugar Bowl outfit. 

that said, at no point did the road uniforms look better than these:

Simple and elegant


July 6th, 2015 at 4:24 PM ^

Michigan can't continually turn it's backs on revenue with apparel, stadium advertising, etc and compete with those maximizing the revenue. I know most programs are Nike but most also use revenue sources frowned upon by many on this blog.