Ball State athletics recently signed a five-year contract with Nike, which officially begins on Sept. 1, 2017 and ends on Aug. 31, 2022. The contract is the first department-wide contract of its type for the athletics program, as football, men's basketball and women's basketball already had existing commitments with Nike. Grace Ramey // DN
A closer look at Ball State athletic's 5-year contract with Nike
Ball State athletics recently signed a five-year contract with Nike, making the apparel company the exclusive equipment and clothing provider of the Cardinals 19 varsity athletic teams.
The new contract, which term runs from Sept. 1, 2017 through Aug. 31, 2022, comes in as the renewal of the parties original college team sales/supply contract – which began on June 1, 2014 – was nearing its end on May 31, 2017.
Unlike other contracts in the past, this new multi-year agreement is department-wide, the first of its kind for Ball State athletics. Other programs who have had existing contracts with Nike include the football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams. Both the football and women's basketball programs contracts were set to expire this summer.
“We are delighted to continue and expand our relationship with Nike,” Ball State Director of Athletics Mark Sandy said in a press release. “The Nike brand is the proven leader in athletic apparel and will serve our coach well as we recruit and retain outstanding student-athletes.”
With this contract, each Ball State athletic team will be required to wear/use Nike products during almost every team activity. Teams will be expected to rep Nike from the locker room, to the game and to other university athletic-sanctioned events.
So, what do Ball State athletic teams get out of this deal? Quite a bit.
Every year, according to the college team product supply and sales contract between Ball State University and Nike USA, Inc., Ball State athletics receives an “Annual Product Allotment,” for its athletic programs.
This means each contract year – ranging from each consecutive 12-month period from Sept. 1 through Aug. 31 – Ball State will receive the following from Nike:
- A $50,000 allowance for the university's athletic director, Mark Sandy in this case, to purchase Nike Elite products allocated across athletic departments at his discretion.
- Football receives a few additional bonuses, including a “coaches sideline package” starting at $75,000 in years 1 and 2, $80,000 in years 3 and 4 and $85,000 in year 5 of the contract, a 50 percent jump from the original contract which began and stayed at $50,000 throughout the three seasons.
- Other allotments for the football team include "Nike Elite" allotments totaling $5,000 for the head coach and $15,000 total for assistant coaches, equipment managers and support staff (up to 15 members). Both allotments are higher than the previous contract as well. On top of that, the football team has a chance to receive $5,000 in merchandise for each post-season bowl game invite they receive.
- Men’s basketball, receives various equipment like shoes, balls, bags and warm ups as well as $2,000 towards camp allotments and $5,000 in both head coach and assistant coaches “Nike Elite” allotments.
- Women’s basketball will receives shoes, balls, bags and warm ups along with a $5,000 head coach “Nike Elite” allotment, $2,000 more than the previous allotment which was total for the staff.
With receiving all of this, the "university agrees that all product for covered program[s] use shall be purchased directly from Nike, or an authorized Nike team retailer," according to the contract.
On the flip side, Nike receives the following form Ball State during each contract year:
- One personal appearance form the head football coach, paid for by Nike.
- Two complimentary season sideline passes to each football game.
- Four complimentary tickets to any post-season game in which the football team participates in.
Many of the stipulations of the contract match previous contracts with the university and Nike, with the total price of most of the allotment payments rising.
While Ball State receives quite a bit from the deal with Nike, it is not even close to some of the more lucrative deals that Nike has made with universities, which often times include cash deals reaching into millions of dollars.
Just last season, according to the Wall Street Journal, Nike agreed to the richest college sports deal with a 15-year, $252 million contract with Ohio State University.
Regardless, Ball State head coaches are excited to be, or continuing be, part of the 78 Football Bowl Subdivision teams – according to 2015 footballscoop.com report – who are sponsored by Nike.