The University of Texas and Nike could be close to reaching a deal according to HornsDigest.com. Sources have told them that the two, along with former Longhorn basketball star Kevin Durant, met on September 26th to talk about a long-term deal, and that it will be the new “high-end standard for university apparel contracts”.
If true, it would mean the school and the apparel giant met just days after former AD Steve Patterson got booted from his position. (Sorry, “resigned” from his position).
Under Patterson is was rumored that the school was flirting with Under Armour, and that Under Armour was basically prepared to make it rain to get the deal done.
UA was reportedly prepared to cash and stock options to Texas totaling around $22 million per year for at least 10 years.
Here’s where it all get a little bit confusing though. UA wasn’t able to make a pitch until October, because Nike had until the end of September to reach a re-up agreement. Nike also wanted to avoid a bidding war, and reportedly asked Texas to reach a deal before the deadline.
Patterson very much wanted a bidding war though, and reportedly had a meeting scheduled with UA for October 4th so the apparel upstart could make their pitch. Horns Digest is reporting that if UA offered more than $200 over the next ten years, and Nike didn’t match it, then the Horns would make the switch. That’s a key number since, doing the simple math, UA’s proposal was going to be worth $220 million.
Patterson left on September 15th though, and Interim AD Mike Perrin is not as driven by the bottom dollar as his predecessor. He also puts a value on relationships. Like the one Nike’s had with the Horns for the last 16 years, and now it looks like UA won’t even be able to make a pitch.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, sources told HD, it appears Texas’ relationship with Nike, established in 2000, will continue into the future as long as the numbers make sense for both sides.
If Texas re-signs with Nike without even hearing proposals from other suitors, it would be a huge disappointment for Under Armour, which set up an office in Austin over the past year almost with the sole purpose of winning the Texas apparel contract, sources told HD.
Even former Texas national champion golfer Jordan Spieth, one of Under Armour’s highest-profile clients, said he would be as involved as UA wanted him to be in courting his alma mater.
With Durant helping Nike hold on to Texas, it marks the second time in the last few months that Under Armour was rebuffed by the former Longhorns basketball star.