University of Nike

Submitted by Finance-PhD on November 11th, 2013 at 10:32 PM…


The fictitious "University of Nike" has relocated from Eugene, Ore., to Tuscaloosa, Ala.—at least according to its website.

On Aug. 3, the site was registered, and it redirected Internet users to the University of Oregon's website, an apparent reference to the multimillion-dollar investment in Ducks athletic facilities by Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Nike has been based in Oregon since its founding, and Knight is an alumnus.

In recent months, it wasn't just fans but an Oregon official who referred to the school as the "University of Nike."

On Saturday, a photo that appeared to be Knight wearing Alabama gear on the sideline at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa surfaced after the No. 1 Crimson Tide football team's victory over Louisiana State and spread via Twitter. Knight's appearance at Alabama came just two days after Oregon saw its national-title hopes all but vanish in a loss at Stanford. Knight is known to regularly attend Oregon home games.

On Sunday, "" was suddenly redirecting to the University of Alabama's website, according to the blog UO Matters, which is unaffiliated with the university.

In August, University of Oregon officials said they did not know who owned the domain name. It was registered anonymously.

Obviously Phil Knight is going to keep pumping money into Oregon but it is an interesting change from a marketing standpoint. Here is the Twitter photo mentioned in the article.

I am sure it is not personal. It is just business. It is still an interesting change after Oregon lost to Stanford and Alabama beat LSU.

I guess if nothing else Phil wants Bama, even if they refuse to wear uniformz.



November 11th, 2013 at 10:53 PM ^

For now anyway, Michigan reaffirmed its commitment to Adidas at least through the expiration of the current contract back in May. It is scheduled to expire in 2017, I believe, so if there is a switch, it will not be until then unless the University decides to embark on a sudden change of course. I think Brandon even said as much on WTKA back in the spring, that even though the contract is before his time as AD, he intends to let it run its course. 


November 11th, 2013 at 10:42 PM ^

I think Michigan will continue to wear the athletic apparel of the company that bids the highest for the privilege.  I don't have any real feeling for what company it will be this time around.

I am always surprised at people who think Michigan will choose Adidas or Nike or Keds or whatever based on the quality of the product.  That's not how it works.


November 11th, 2013 at 10:45 PM ^

well, when MSU cleaned and made consistent their uniforms, along with Michigan switching to Adidas,  it seems MSU has taken off since, and we've gone downhill, in football.

Quite ironic, it is.... you don't change uniforms like that when its part of a great success....

now, we'll have no leverage in dealing with Nike again, knowing how poorly we've done with Adidas, right or wrong.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:02 PM ^

Michigan's jerseys looked so much better as oppose to the current under Adidas. Adidas makes some crappy football jerseys, but I do like their basketball and soccer products. Nike and Under Armour would be prefered in my book.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:16 PM ^

That domain has nothing to do with Nike. Nike does their domain registrations through MarkMonitor. was registered through  Also, it was registered with private registration. Large companies don't use private registration because they have nothing to hide and it's really just a pointless service meant to nickel and dime paranoid individuals. Another thing, you can point any domain name you own to any website in the world with a simple 301 redirect. Literally. Nothing special, including any ownership whatsoever of the destination site is required to do that.

Essentially, it's a domain managed by one guy with too much time on his hands and you/WSJ are reading into this waaaaaaay too much.


(Working with my domains used to completely be my job for a few years, and now is half of my job currently.  They're not difficult to understand.)


November 11th, 2013 at 11:22 PM ^

If you take it at face value, it's definitely interesting.  But for anyone who knows a single thing about domains, it makes you wonder how in the world WSJ put out this article with such little knowledge on how easy it is to make a domain look a lot more important than it is.  I can assure you if Nike wasn't in the process already,'s private registration service has gotten a cease and desist from Nike's lawyers due to the attention this article has brought to the domain name.  I give it no more than a month before that domain goes away.


November 11th, 2013 at 11:23 PM ^

National Championship in football.  I'm just sayin'.  I vote for Nike as much as I hate how they operate and it may be a coincidence, but we were a better program when wearing Nike stuff.

Also, a somewhat little known fact, Nike holds the trademark/copyright on the color "Maize".  Karma? You betcha!


November 11th, 2013 at 11:46 PM ^

Also, Nike can't trademark the color "Maize". This nonsense has showed up every few years on the board, and it's still the same amount of BS as before.

Quoted from Blazefire 3 damn years ago:

They didn't copyright the term "Maize" being used to describe yellow. That's not possible, and a judge would throw that out in a second. What they did do is copyright the usage of the term Maize to describe X color value when used on athletic gear sold by competing corporations for the University of Michigan. Rather than just create a different shade of yellow and also call it Maize, which would be somewhat confusing and possibly could be contested in court, Adidas decided it would be simpler to create a new shade and and give it a new name, and trademark THAT. So now, Michigan can have their stuff, call it Maize and everything is fine, but Adidas can't list the color as "Maize" in commercial documents. IE: Why does one paint brand call it "lavender sunset" and the other calls it "dusty rose"? This is why. That said, Nike still always brings the KY when they climb into bed with Satan.

And if we're being honest, the Nike/Adidas "Maize" is a lot closer to yellow than actual maize, which is closer to a golden color. So it's all a moot point anyways

MGJS SuperKick Party

November 12th, 2013 at 9:48 AM ^

Nike doesn't trademark the specific color, they trademark the actual color. I just read an article this morning about a small college who is Nike and would like to continue to use Crimson. The problem is, Alabama and Nike have the rights to Crimson. So said small college needs to either switch brands, or pay Nike/Alabama more money to use the color.


November 12th, 2013 at 9:43 AM ^

I'm not sure I understand your use of the word "karma." Bad things are happening to Michigan because of karma? Why? Because they left Nike to take a much more lucrative contract with a competing apparel company? If that's what you're suggesting, I'd say your use of "karma" is pretty idiotic. If anything, wouldn't bad things be happening to Nike for trying to copyright a school's color?

Also, somehow suggesting that having Nike rather than Adidas uniforms somehow impacts winning titles is fucking stupid. This board's hard on for Nike is one of the dumbest fucking frequently posted problems.


November 12th, 2013 at 10:20 AM ^

I think the the way too easily tearing uniforms for basketball and whole having to wear last year's unis in the tourney should've been the last straw for our contract with Adidas.  How we are still with them know how bad they did with the 2nd best team in college basketball last is absolutely ridiculous.


November 12th, 2013 at 9:33 AM ^

When Cam was at Auburn, someone counted the Under Armour logos visible on his uni, pads, wristbands, etc and came up w 17. I'm all for companies putting their brand on the inner tag and the bottom front patch only. I'm also far older and grumpier than my actual age indicates.


November 12th, 2013 at 12:52 PM ^

Ethics always gets brought up with Nike/adidas by the campus community.

Under Armor may not be a perfect company, but they are heavily involved in 2 really terrific initiatives.

1) Wounded Warrior Project:

2) What's Beautiful:

The pessimist in me says these are simply ploys to sell more gear, but the messages and involvement are there. Plus, their "exclusive" collection (Michigan could be a part of this) is manufactured in the US. 

All things to sell to the public and things people could get behind.