It was announced yesterday that Indiana was the latest school to get an extremely lucrative apparel contract. While Michigan made waves this off-season for ditching Adidas in favor of Nike, the Hoosiers announced that they will be renewing their contract with Adidas for a sizable increase in revenue.
Before the new deal was ironed out the Hoosiers were earning an annual payment of about $3.7 million from the German company. Now that number is set to increase dramatically as Indiana will be set to earn about $6.7 million per year. The deal, which is reportedly worth $53.6 million over the next eight years, puts Indiana towards the top when it comes to the most profitable apparel deals, with their yearly payout just behind Michigan and UCLA. The deal will run through 2024 at the earliest and continues the relationship the university started with Adidas over a decade ago back in 2004.
Indiana's Athletic Director Fred Glass stated that he feels "Adidas fits us well" and that the new deal will allow the Hoosiers to receive "more apparel." Another component of the deal will involve Adidas performing a branding audit for all of the Indiana sports programs in attempt to create conformity in the quality and coloring of the jerseys, with a heavy focus on making sure the crimson coloring is universal across all sports programs.
That being said, it's never a bad situation when your school's athletic department is set to increase revenue considerably, especially for something that is more or less set in stone over the next eight years or so. Adidas has been under fire in recent years for questionable jersey designs (remember those cumerbund postseason uniforms?) and some of the hate and backlash have been warranted, but the money involved here is simply too much to pass up. The reality is the companies involvement with Indiana stems from being attached to a prestigious basketball program and the history of Indiana basketball. And when it comes to Indiana and Adidas, the apparel company has wisely left the Hoosiers uniforms alone for the most part, not doing anything to drastic to mess with the team's traditional approach to their uniforms.
Unlike what Adidas has done for the Indiana football team...
The reality is things have been a bit rocky for Adidas in the states and they're doing their best to try to remedy the issue. Declining footwear and apparel sales, dropping them to third behind Nike and Under Armour, mixed with scattershot contract deals, a disastrous golf line, hit or miss collegiate uniforms and ending their relationship with the NBA as the association's official apparel partner have led to a serious decline that the company is trying to climb out of. In recent months Adidas has became considerably more aggressive, recently securing NHL jersey rights and reportedly signing James Harden to a $200 million deal.
When everything is said and done, regardless of how much Adidas may wreck Indiana's football uniforms (just bring these back, please), the company has been wise to remain conservative with the basketball uniforms and has done a commendable job. Also, almost $7 million in revenue and having the company spend a lot of time and focus on their product is well worth continuing their relationship here.