During college football games it is not just the players who are battling each other. College sports has also become a battleground for shoe companies and millions are being spent for the exposure.
During the 2014-15 school year, Adidas will give the University of Michigan athletic department $US8.2 million in cash, equipment, and apparel according to data collected the Portland Business Journal. Of the schools with available data that is the largest shoe, apparel, and equipment contract in college sports, but it is not alone.
Of the 64 schools in the Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) the athletic department’s shoe company contract data is available for 41 universities.
Those 41 schools will make a total of $US127.4 million this year with an average value of $US3.1 million.
The value of those deals is disbursed differently to different schools. For example, Michigan will receive $US4.4 million worth of Adidas shoes, apparel, and equipment and $US3.8 million in cash. Meanwhile, Florida State University, the school with the largest Nike contract, will receive $US3.0 million in apparel and equipment and $US1.4 million in cash.
Nike leads the way with 28 of the 41 contracts (68.3%) for a total value this year of $US68.9 million. However, Adidas takes a different approach, with just eight schools totaling $US42.0 million with a much higher average per school.
Of the conferences, the Big Ten comes out on top thanks in large part to the Michigan deal as well as the strong Adidas presence in the midwest.
Of the eight Adidas schools, four are in the Big Ten with an average value of $US4.9 million.
At the biggest universities, revenue from the shoe and apparel companies is still not a large percentage of the athletic department’s income but it also nothing to sneeze at.
For example, the University of Michigan’s athletics program took in $US143.5 million in 2013. Their $US8.2 million contract with Adidas would represent 5.7% of the entire budget.
In an era in which there is a growing call to get more of the money to the players that are actually on the fields and on the courts, this is just another glaring example of how much money is being tossed around in intercollegiate athletics.
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