Fans can rejoice! The University of Wisconsin athletic department is no longer an adidas school. On Friday, the UW Board of Regents is expected to approve a 10-year deal between the athletic department and the Maryland-based athletic outfitter.
It represents the first change in athletic clothing supplier for the university in over a decade, as the Badgers moved from Rebook to adidas back when the former was bought by the latter in 2001.
The Badgers deal will start with the 2016-17 academic year and run through the 2026-27 season, but most importantly it will give the Badgers a significant upgrade in money and equipment from its current deal with adidas.
Per Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, this deal is a major upgrade for the financial health of the UW athletic program:
UW will receive $3.3 million in product during the first year of the deal to account for the increased product needs associated with the change from adidas to Under Armour. UW will receive $2.45 million in product in the second year of the deal. That total will increase incrementally after that, to $3.05 million in the 10th year.
UW will receive an annual amount of cash compensation from Under Armour to provide income to the athletic department.
The amount of annual cash compensation made under the existing contract with adidas varied from $750,000 in the first two years of the deal to $800,000 in the last three years. Under the proposed agreement with Under Armour, UW will receive an annual cash contribution of $4 million.
Itâ€™s a move bound to make fans happy as well, especially after having to bare witness to the god-awful menâ€™s basketball uniforms and “special” ones for the NCAA tournament each of the past few seasons. It also means better and more varied options for apparel sold via Buckyâ€™s Locker Room and other outlets.
Under Armour is likely to take more care to incorporate things that make the UW-Madison campus unique, ala its incorporation of unique elements at Maryland and especially Northwestern and Cincinnati.
Knowing Barry Alavrezâ€™s pension for tradition, donâ€™t expect a dramatic change in the look of the football team though. What you can expect is maybe a bit more creativity and good-looking design for potential alternate uniforms as well.
Itâ€™s clear, given the money and long-term relationship of this deal that both sides are dedicated to making this a positive partnership. For the fans, that can only be a good thing, for the athletes, it is likely a major upgrade in many areas.