Step aside, Notre Dame Fighting Irish -- the Michigan Wolverines officially have the highest-paid apparel contract in college sports following Wednesday's release of the financial information from the new Nike deal:
Per Michigan, U-M's new Nike contract (2016-2027) is worth $169 million. Includes $12M upfront, $76.8M annual cash and $80.2M in apparel— Brendan F. Quinn (@BFQuinn) July 15, 2015
The astounding numbers represent good news for the Texas Longhorns as negotations get under way with the apparel giant, which has never before been willing to match competitors like Adidas and Under Armour to create massive paydays for the top programs nationally -- before Michigan's deal, Nike's biggest contract sat outside the top five nationally.
And the deal for Michigan makes the recent contract signed by Notre Dame appear insignificant -- the Fighting Irish signed with Under Armour for $90 million last year.
Horns Digest's Chip Brown recently reported that Under Armour could offer Texas $150 million over 10 years, a deal that Nike once seemed unlikely to match or exceed. No longer -- with proof positive that Nike is willing to set the market in a major way, the odds are now much higher that athletics director Steve Patterson can cash in and stick with the industry leader.
Considering that the Tennessee Volunteers recently left Adidas to sign with Nike for less money than the school's previous apparel deal offered, the financial numbers released for Michigan are truly shocking.
Somewhere in Bellmont, Patterson has a huge smile on his face, especially since Darren Rovell is reporting that Nike was the low bidder.