ASU announces switch from Nike to Adidas
ASU announced Tuesday it is switching from Nike to Adidas in a move that would put ASU in the top ten annual value of apparel contacts.
Nike guided ASU’s rebranding effort in 2011, which saw the Sun Devils don black uniforms and remove Sparky in favor of the pitchfork for the logo. But with an expiring contract, ASU looked around and reevaluated its brand.
“We had another partner and that deal was expiring and very frankly it gave us an opportunity to reset and look at the market across the board to be able to sit and articulate with each of the competitors what our vision was for ASU and Sun Devil athletics,” said Ray Anderson, vice president for university athletics.
ASU more than doubled the amount it was getting under Nike ($2.11 million in 2014-15). Adidas and ASU announced an 8-year, $33.8 million contract ($4.225 million annual value).
“Greg (McElroy) and I were very fortunate to come in at a time when the original deal was expiring,” Anderson said. It gave us an opportunity to say, ‘Well do you just automatically look at it and renew it? Do you automatically stay there because you’ve been there or do you take an opportunity to really see what others really feel about you’”?
According to the Portland Business Journal, Adidas has the four top annual apparel contracts, with Pac-12 rival UCLA ranked No. 2 ($7.5 million). ASU’s deal would rank eighth nationally.
The deal begins in July of 2015 and runs through the 2022-23 season. It covers current and future athletics teams (hockey and a women’s sport to be announced later) and also has the scope of shoes and accessories. It also includes the marching band and pep teams an internship program for up to 12 ASU students in various fields.
Anderson said he doesn’t think the uniforms will change drastically. However, shoes already released by Adidas, show significant change.
“We’ll do it deliberately, very appropriately, hopefully very artistically, but it will be a combination of their input and ours because at the end of the day we are the customer, they are our uniforms (and) this is our tradition.”
ASU was previously with Adidas before switching to Nike in 2004. ASUDevils.com first reported the move in November.
ASU's last major move with Nike saw the debut of the "Desert Fuel" uniforms, which the Sun Devils wore in their win over Notre Dame in November.
Reach the sports editor at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @jjanssen11