Firing athletic director Steve Patterson marked a sharp turning point in negotiations between the Texas Longhorns and potential apparel partners Nike and Under Armour, according to a report from Horns Digest.
The stark differences between interim athletic direcitor Mike Perrin and Patterson are quickly becoming apparent and the tactics both reportedly employed in dealing with the now-expired apparel contract with Nike and a potentially lucrative bidfrom Under Armour shed light on how their respective personalities influenced the process.
Patterson, who viewed Texas as a professional sports organization and valued the bottom line over relationships, wanted to start a bidding war between Nike and Under Armour in hopes of landing the biggest contract possible.
Perrin, on the other hand, clearly values relationships and loyalty over the bottom line, so once he took over for Patterson, he wanted to "completely change course" from Patterson's plan, reportedly holding a meeting with Nike on September 24 that included Texas alum Kevin Durant, who signed a massive deal with Nike last summer instead of switching to hometown Under Armour.
Instead of a bidding war, then, Perrin honored Nike's expressed wish to avoid having to match a deal from Under Armour, which one source said was willing to go as high as $22 million a year, including the same type of company stock options Under Armour included in its deal with Notre Dame.
With the Horns having reportedly cancelled a meeting formerly scheduled with Under Armour on October 4, it looks like the school will soon announce a new Nike apparel contract without hearing pitches from Under Armour or Adidas, as previously expected.
And Perrin will further distinguish himself from his predecessor in doing so.