Adidas has always been a big name in the shoe game, and now they’re making moves to challenge Nike. Today marked the next big step in that plan, they signed the University of Washington to a 10 year, 119 million dollar contract. This comes on the heels of signing New York Yankees up and coming superstar Aaron Judge during Spring Training.
This new contract will give the school around $5.5 million a year in gear, and another $5.25 in cash as a sponsor. There are some insane incentives involved in the contract, for example, Adidas will pay out an extra $500,000 to the school for winning the football National Championship, and $125,000 for winning the Pac-12 title in football. This deal is now the seventh largest in college sports, and the only bigger agreement that Adidas has on that list is with the University of Louisville. Washington will most likely become the flag bearer for some of Adidas’s newest gear, especially after all the scandals at Louisville. Washington has been on the come up in the world of college football over the last three years, so it seems fitting that Adidas wanted to go after them.
On to Aaron Judge, he was the most significant story in baseball both literally and figuratively. Standing at a towering 6’7, weighing 282 pounds, he is literally a huge deal. He also hit 52 home runs as a rookie in 2017, won American League Rookie of the Year and finished second in AL MVP voting. His insane first season earned him the cover on MLB The Show 18, along with this new deal with Adidas. Judge joins fellow young superstars Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa as the biggest names in baseball with Adidas deals.
Some of the other huge names across all sports are what is really making Adidas a force to be reckoned with. Starting with football, they have stars like Von Miller, Adrian Peterson, Aaron Rodgers, Marcus Peters, Deandre Hopkins and Josh Norman. Basketball, where the only thing that matters when it comes to apparel is what’s on your feet, is where Adidas needs to make the most significant impact. Since there are only 15 players on the roster, you have a much better chance of being seen compared to 53 in the NFL and 25 in the MLB. In basketball, they’ve secured this year’s probable MVP James Harden is a client, along with Kristaps Porzingis, Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Jaylen Brown, Andrew Wiggins and Candice Parker. They are now also the official sponsor of the NHL, and they make the soccer balls that are used during the World Cup. Other baseball sponsors include rising stars Trea Turner and Byron Buxton, and even though it might not seem like a huge deal, they also have a contract with Tim Tebow. Whether you’re a sports fan or not, most people know who Tim Tebow is.
While this might not seem like a lot, especially compared to the giant that Nike has become, securing schools like Washington and Louisville is a big deal. Combine that with high-end athletes like Aaron Rodgers, James Harden, and Kris Bryant, Nike should start to be concerned. Under Armour stole Steph Curry from them, and should have gotten Kevin Durant too. Now with Adidas firmly in the mix for a lot of big clients, we might see more people starting to switch from Nike.