Last week Notre Dame signed off on a new apparel partnership with Under Armour, abandoning Adidas in the process. Just this week Tennessee also parted way with Adidas and signed on with Nike. By now we understand just how valuable sports apparel partnerships are for schools. Not only are companies like Nike and Under Armour designing unique uniforms to show off their partnering football programs (and basketball), but they are shelling out big bucks for the right to do so.
According to a report by San Antonio television station KENS 5, Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech combined to receive $4.1 million in cash from their uniform partners in addition to $5.5 million in fee equipment. Coaches are also getting incentives inserted in to contracts for wearing certain apparel from the apparel contracts as well. Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingssbury was paid a base salary of $300,000 but received $1.55 million through media and apparel agreement. It is a worthwhile investment for companies like Nike and Under Armour because fans spend ver $4 billion in logo-branded t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and equipment to support their favorite schools or use the same caliber of equipment.
All of this leads to just one more question that is often brought up in the recent state of the NCAA.
“The NCAA players are not billboards affixed to the tops of buildings along highways, but when you consider all of the tight shots that appear after a play takes place, and before the replay, those tend to be head shots, just below the shoulders, and miraculously, that’s where the corporate logos are,” Ed Desser, an expert witness in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, said to KENS 5.
“The players are not allowed to get salaries,” Dresser said. “They’re not allowed to get anything but very trivial per diem. They’re not allowed to do endorsements.”
This report comes days after Northwestern players introduced the college players union initiative, one that if successful could start to cut a sliver of the apparel income pie for the players at some point.