Big Red Business: NU not wavering on its record-setting Adidas contract
Nebraska and Adidas have been shoe and apparel partners for a long time and there are no plans to alter that relationship despite the dark cloud hanging over the German-based company.
Keith Mann, a spokesman for Nebraska’s athletic department, said Friday “we have not had any changes in the contract” with Adidas in the wake of federal investigations into the company’s alleged under-the-table deals involving company executives and coaches to steer high school basketball talent to a growing list of powerhouse college programs.
Nebraska has not been mentioned nor been cited by investigators with any alleged wrong-doing at this point. But a number of other programs have come under scrutiny, including Arizona, Louisville, Kansas, and North Carolina State.
The FBI investigations so far have focused only on basketball programs, including head coaches and assistants. The NCAA is expected to release findings of its own investigation into these alleged recruiting and pay for play allegations before the end of April.
Last August, Nebraska renewed its contract with Adidas, in a deal valued at $128.7 million in cash, products and other services over the next 11 years. It was touted as the richest sports marketing contract ever signed by Nebraska’s athletic department, and it made Nebraska one of the company’s largest collegiate clients.
Under the contract, Nebraska receives $64 million in cash and $64.7 million in products. The deal also has two special “look in” periods in the fourth and seventh years of the contract that allows the athletic department to adjust the terms to reflect current market values.
In a statement to HuskerOnline.com, Mann said the athletic department is “proud of our recent long-term extension with our valued partner, and have created a framework we are confident will monitor financial and product support.”
Steve Rosen covers the business of sports for HuskerOnline.com. Questions, comments, story ideas? Reach Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.