- Kristopher Fraser |
The University of Illinois' Division of Intercollegiate athletics has announced today that they will be extending their partnership with Nike through the 2025-2026 school year.
For the past two decades, Nike has been the exclusive partner of UI's Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. The latest contract renewal will go into effect on July 1, 2016.
In a statement, UI's Interim Director of Athletics Paul Kowalczyk said "We are extremely pleased to extend our outstanding relationship and partnership with Nike. Their commitment to us reinforces the fact that we have one of the strongest brands in college sports as this agreement has a value among the Top 20 in all of collegiate athletics. We will continue to work together to equip our student-athletes with the most exciting, cutting-edge apparel and equipment, while providing our fans a myriad of ways to display their Fighting Illini pride.”
The new agreement follows virtually the same terms as the old agreement, stating that all 21 University of Illinois' varsity teams will wear Nike sports gear, products, and specific equipment and accessories.
In a statement, Kit Morris, senior director of Nike College Sports said “We strongly support the institution’s commitment to competing at the highest level and look forward to serving Fighting Illini student-athletes, teams, coaches and programs in the years ahead.”
The college sports apparel field is becoming more competitive than ever. Last year, Under Armour landed a 250 million dollar with University of Notre Dame. The idea behind these sports partnerships is that a brand's popularity will grow with the increase of a star athletes fame .
Last year, Nike competitor Adidas inked a deal with the Pac-12 conference to become the organization's official apparel and footwear partner. This was a head scratcher for Nike, who currently has deals with nine of the 12 schools in the conference. Adidas's deal will last for three years, and will make the brand the presenting sponsor of the Pac-12 Sport Report.photo:nike.com