The University of Nebraska Athletic Department and Adidas America have agreed in principle to the terms of a new proposed contract that will extend through 2013. The contract, subject to approval by the University Board of Regents, would continue the relationship that began in 1995 and grants adidas the rights to serve as Nebraska's official apparel and footwear provider.
While the final contract is not complete, both parties have agreed to an eight-year term over which adidas will provide the University of Nebraska Athletic Department more than $22 million in cash and product. The guaranteed base of $22,725,000 is believed to be one of the top apparel and footwear contracts in Division I Collegiate Athletics. The past relationship between Nebraska and Adidas weighed heavily in Nebraska's decision to move forward with adidas America's proposal.
"This is an exciting day in Nebraska," NU Athletic Director Steve Pederson said. "This partnership is the combination of two of the greatest names in sports. The adidas brand is known worldwide as a leader in outfitting top athletes. We are so fortunate to partner with people who care as much about their athletes as they do about their brand. This also means that all of our Husker teams, regardless of sport or gender, will wear the finest athletic equipment available."
Adidas is a global designer, developer and marketer of athletic footwear, apparel and accessories with the mission to be the leading sports brand in the world. Adidas America is a subsidiary of Adidas-Salomon AG, a corporation that also includes sports brands Salomon, TaylorMade, Bonfire and Mavic.
Known for providing personal care and a commitment to service, Adidas has assigned and paid for a full-time service representative to work exclusively for Nebraska's athletic programs on campus. This benefit will continue throughout the length of the contract.
"Everyone at Adidas is truly excited to be extending our relationship with the University of Nebraska, one of the top academic and athletic universities in the United States," said Martyn Brewer, Director of Sports Marketing for Adidas America. "adidas has found that with long standing arrangements like this, both parties involved understand all of the intangible aspects that make this type of relationship mutually beneficial. adidas has developed a great model with the University of Nebraska that enables us to provide them with excellent service and world class product."
While Adidas has taken care of a majority of Nebraska's teams in the past, with product or cash payments, this agreement supports the entire Husker athletic department and each of its 23 varsity sports.
In addition to the obvious benefits for Nebraska's athletic programs, the agreement provides for a generous allowance for unique funding of campus and student-life initiatives.
"Our relationship extends beyond shoes and uniforms," Nebraska Associate Athletic Director Paul Miles said. "At the same time that adidas is expanding their brand throughout the world in sports and fitness, they are also committed to the University of Nebraska principles and ideals that will enhance the overall college experience of every student on our campus."
When Adidas re-entered the college football market in 1995, the Nebraska football team was its first client. The first Adidas contract was signed for the benefit of the football program on Feb. 1, 1995, and ran until Jan. 31, 2000. Numerous contracts with the Nebraska Athletic Department and its head coaches have been signed and revised in the interim. The present arrangement with adidas and the NU football team expires on June 30, 2005.
Negotiations between the University and several other major apparel providers began in earnest last March. Miles negotiated the contract, working closely with Pederson and UNL administrators. Nebraska and Adidas officials hope to have a finalized contract ready for the March or April Board of Regents meeting.