University of Miami

Canes make it official, switch from Nike to Adidas


Longtime University of Miami baseball coach Jim Morris probably summed up Thursday’s formal announcement of the school’s new 12-year deal with Adidas probably better than anyone else.

“We’ve got so much [Nike] stuff in our closets we’ve got to get rid of,” he said. “We’ve got to have a yard sale.”

So it’s out with the swoosh and in with the three stripes.

The Hurricanes, the original Nike program (UM was the first to sign an all-sports deal with the company back in 1987), will officially begin outfitting themselves in Adidas apparel when the next school year begins at the end of the summer.

Athletic director Blake James said the deal, which runs from Sept. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2027, brings in “significantly more revenue than we had previously” and was more than what Nike offered to continue with UM.

“It’s an opportunity from a product standpoint to not only outfit all of our teams, but to really have more product than we’ve ever had,” James said.

“Again, for me one of the key things was the marketing activation. You saw it right away [Thursday] with them taking over the ESPN college football page and promoting the kickoff of this September 2015. I think it’s just one of the things where [Adidas] having a smaller group of schools gives them a little more flexibility. Nike obviously has a much a larger stable. It’s two different business models and I would say right now the better business model for us was to go with Adidas.”

Because UM is a private school James wouldn’t divulge how much more money the program is getting in its deal with Adidas, but when Arizona State switched from Nike to Adidas recently it went from $2.1 million with Nike to $4.2 million with Adidas.

Chris McGuire, head of Sports Marketing for Adidas, said the company has been trying to land UM the past five to six years.

“You see the scope of what’s happening at the University and the future direction. We know we hit a home run with this one,” McGuire said.

Miami, FIU and FAU are the only schools in the state signed with Adidas. They are also just the 13th program from a Power 5 conference to sign with Adidas. Others include UCLA, Kansas, Louisville, N.C. State, Wisconsin and Arizona State.

“It’s going to be a great beachhead for us to tell our football story, but also all the Olympic sports stories,” McGuire said of the deal with UM. “The state of Florida produces so many great athletes, now to have that central place, that beachhead for our brand to live and transpire and go out to the rest of the community and to the athlete population here in the state, to put a value on that is priceless really.”


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