Administration, Finance, News

Athletic Director Blake James discusses Adidas, break with Nike

The University of Miami is still transitioning into becoming an Adidas-sponsored school after being with Nike for 27 years, having officially begun their new licensing agreement on Sept. 1.

Wednesday night Athletic Director Blake James met with USport, an organization for students who want futures in the sports industry, to explain the process of negotiating and deciding on the new deal that will last 12 years.

About a year and a half ago, UM informed Nike with the decision to see what other brands would offer Miami, with the hopes of remaining with the brand despite exploring the market.

“I didn’t think Nike was treating us at the level that we deserved to be treated,” James said. “One of my frustrations with Nike was they do a great job of promoting their brand, but outside of the University of Oregon, they don’t.”

As a result, the Athletics Department met with Adidas and Under Armour Factory House in November of 2014 within a span of two days and returned to Nike to give them the opportunity to also make a bid. Although Nike offered an increase in money and products for the student-athletes, the other two companies offered much more-with ESPN reporting in January that it was worth “multiple times more” than the previous.

Between Adidas and Under Armour, Adidas “significantly separated itself from Under Armour from a cash perspective, a product perspective and a partnership perspective,” James said. “The decision became easy.”

The announcement gained national news; the 27-year partnership lasted through the rise of the UM football program into five-time national champions and was considered one of the first licensing agreements between a university and sports merchandise company.

The partnership with Adidas took off the day the deal was announced in January. Adidas took care of hosting a football jersey launch at LIV nightclub in July. Additionally, the corporation has also helped with on-campus facilities such as the brand new nutrition center.

“The thing that makes me feel really good about it was that Adidas wants to rebrand here in the United States,” James said. “They told us ‘we’re going to focus on strengthening our brand by strengthening your brand.’”

So far, the student-athletes have given James positive feedback since the deal. The fan base, however, was concerned and upset when it was first announced, but James is “confident we can still win and recruit with our product and we put ourselves in a good position.”

Their decision, according to James, was based on finding what was best for the student-athletes, for the most amount of money, with the best partnership.

September 17, 2015

About Author

Alina Zerpa


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Athletic Director Blake James discusses Adidas, break with Nike”

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Just one glance at Brad Kaaya throwing passes Tuesday after the University of Miami’s first spring f ...

Yes, the Hurricanes’ uncertainty at quarterback has created some uneasiness, as Mark Richt told me r ...

Senior guards Adrienne Motley and Jessica Thomas sat slumped over on the Watsco Center floor late Mo ...

Spring has sprung for the University of Miami football program. Practice, closed to the public, had ...

View photos of the first day of Miami Hurricanes spring football practice on Tues., March 22, 2017 … ...

Sir James Galway, Distinguished Presidential Scholar, inspires flute students with his artistry and ...

Activist and community organizer Alicia Garza stresses the need for a richness of ideas to help solv ...

UM physicist studies the unexpected consequences of sub-second delays on fast-moving data systems ...

The world renown flautist joins the Frost School of Music ...

A fluid multi-platform exhibition examines the impacts of climate change through art, research, medi ...

At the Net with Jesse Flores ...

At the Net with... ...

Kristina Fisher of the Miami soccer team has been selected to participate in an upcoming U.S. U-23 W ...

Freshman Greg Veliz put together another strong midweek outing as the Hurricanes beat FAU 7-5. ...

Junior Piotr Lomacki represents the Canes in the ITA singles rankings, released Tuesday, at No. 73. ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.