It is not often schools voluntarily leave Nike for a rival apparel company to supply athletic gear as a sponsor, but Arizona State did just that on Tuesday. The school announced a new sponsorship deal with Adidas which will bring in nearly twice as much in sponsorship money as Arizona State’s previous deal with Nike.
Arizona State’s new deal is an eight-year agreement that will provide 17 athletics programs with footwear, apparel and more.
“We not only made a decision that was advantageous for Sun Devil Athletics financially, but a partnership decision that will undoubtedly advance our brand based on the innovation of the company and commitments that adidas has outlined,” said Arizona State Vice President of University Athletics Ray Anderson in a press release.
The big advantage will be the $33.8 million being pumped into the athletics program over the span of the eight-year contract. Reaction from fans has been mixed on various social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, especially after Arizona State worked with Nike to rebrand the athletics program with a new look that was largely received very well. Many football uniforms by adidas in recent years have done more to draw criticisms over compliments, which continues to be one fear for some fans. But money talks, and adidas was prepared to make a solid investment in adding Arizona State to its list of clients.
This is the first new NCAA licensing partnership for adidas since 2009 when the company partnered up with Mississippi State. Other schools partnered with adidas include Michigan, UCLA, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville and North Carolina State.
— adidas Football US (@adidasFballUS) December 16, 2014
(Except for Arizona, which beat Arizona State in the final game of the regular season to clinch a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Just saying.)