Washington may be going from the swoosh to the three stripe life… or not.
The Huskies are in the middle of negotiating their next apparel deal according to the Seattle Times and both incumbent Nike and their top competitor Adidas are set to put some financial muscle behind a potential record-setting contract with the school. It appears Under Armour has bowed out of the race to outfit the purple and gold in, well, purple and gold but the two other companies are apparently making a strong impression to get something done before 2019 rolls around.
“We’re in such a competitive industry, and we are building a lot of momentum in Husky athletics right now,” athletics director Jennifer Cohen told the paper. “What we’re looking for in any partnership is an edge. How do we differentiate ourselves? That edge can come in a variety of different forms. And obviously a financial commitment from a partner is critical right now for us. We have a budget that we need to balance long-term and we need it healthy so we can support all 22 of our teams and do that at the highest level.”
Complicating things for Washington might be their heated Pac-12 rival Oregon, whose affiliation with Nike and founder Phil Knight is apparently a subject of heated debate among some Huskies fans. The Times notes that the swoosh has been outfitting the school since 1997 but is unlikely to give a bigger deal than the one they gave the Ducks (a reported 11-year, $88-million deal), which might be just the opening Adidas needs to add another school to their portfolio out West.
Either way, Washington is looking at quite the big increase in dollars, cents and uniforms no matter which way they go in a deal that could top $8 million a year. While things could be done in the next month, the school does have time as their current pact with Nike goes through the 2018-19 season and ends officially next summer.