Michigan's Nike contract worth $169 million, richest in college sports

Michigan will officially return to Nike uniforms in August 2016. (@umichfootball)
Michigan will officially return to Nike uniforms in August 2016. (@umichfootball)

There's a new champion in the apparel contract arms race ... for now, anyway.

Michigan revealed the details of its new all-sports apparel contract with Nike on Wednesday, per MLive.com, a contract that will pay it a record $169 million through 2027. The Wolverines will receive $80.2 million in apparel over the life of the deal and $76.8 million in cash.

After an initial "signing bonus" of $12 million, Michigan will receive between $10.1 million and $10.9 million per season -- the richest apparel contract in college athletics. Per MLive.com, Texas checks in as the runner-up among public schools at $5.56-$5.76 million per year.

When signed in 2007, Michigan's previous apparel contract with Adidas had been the most lucrative of its kind. Nonetheless, athletic director Jim Hackett announced the Wolverines' decision to switch from Adidas to Nike in a statement last week.

"After careful consideration, the right partner for the University of Michigan was Nike," Hackett said. "This decision, this partnership is about more than Michigan athletics; at the core, it is about our University community and it is about two great names reuniting for an opportunity that speaks to more than uniforms and apparel."

The Adidas contract expires at the end of July 2016, with the Nike agreement replacing it the following August.

ESPN reported Wednesday that Hackett wasn't bluffing when he talked about making the decision on "more" than just the financial bottom line -- that, in fact, Nike had offered the lowest bid of the three submitted by Adidas, the Swoosh, and Under Armour.

Nonetheless, the deal still dwarfs those recently signed by Nike with other prominent schools, as MLive reports

In February, Nike extended its contract with Florida through 2024, netting the Gators from $3.1 million to 3.5 million per year in Nike products. That deal did not include an annual cash payment, however. Prior to that, Tennessee secured an eight-year contract through 2023 worth nearly $4 million annually in merchandise and cash. The Vols' deal also came with a $2 million signing bonus.

Earn more than double what Florida got from the same company just five months ago, and make your basketball program happy, and purportedly make Jim Harbaugh happy? Highest bid or not, that seems like a win-win situation all the way around.

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