They say all good things must come to an end. But for the University of Miami athletic department, it may be on to an even better thing. According to a report in the Palm Beach Post, the Hurricanes are on the verge of ending a 27-year partnership with Nike. When the 'Canes and the apparel giant agreed to the first all-sports contract back in 1987, it was the first of its kind in college athletics. The type of deal — which allowed the retailer to "own the school" (as former Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro referred it) — has become the norm ever since.
But the Coral Gables, Fla. institution decided to let the agreement, which runs through Aug. 31, 2015, expire. Swoosh rivals Adidas and Under Armour have reportedly submitted bids "several million dollars per year richer than Nike’s deal" according to the Post report. Nike will reportedly be given the opportunity to match the bids — but isn't expected to.
Nike dominates the college sports landscape, outfitting 45 of the 65 "Power Five" conference programs. Adidas supplies 11 schools gear, while Under Armour has a deal with eight programs. Georgia Tech has a contract with Russell Athletic. Miami freshman receiver Braxton Berrios weighed in on the news Tuesday night.
An announcement is expected prior to Miami's Dec. 27 Independence Bowl game against South Carolina.