On Wednesday the NC State Athletics Department announced it’s new 4 year All-Sport Apparel Deal with Adidas (which technically is an uncapitalized name brand … two thumbs up on that one Adidas). I think it’s safe to say that most State fans have had their issues with Adidas in the past. Be it the poor selection of merchandise to many of our football players suffering broken feet from what seems like inferior product to just not being as cool as Nike.
Some of that criticism may have been a little harsh and/or inaccurate, but you know the saying … perception is reality. It does feel like Adidas has been working hard to improve it’s image over the past few years with a bunch of new technology/product lines and increasing amounts of good quality merchandise for sale. We will see how the company continues to improve going forward, but they are definitely changing their ways. Hopefully this marriage will be a great deal for both parties.
In the sports apparel business there are 3 big dogs: Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. Debbie Yow got one of the big dogs to basically give us more money, more free stuff, and to make us a bigger brand. This deal will be good for the NC State Athletic Department budget and, more importantly, for ALL the student athletes that compete for our great university. Kudos Debbie! I had several sources along the way on many different sides of the negotiations so here are some of the behind the scenes tidbits I heard:
- Debbie’s preference all along was Nike, but she contacted them at the beginning of the process and they had no interest.
- We were very close to a deal with Adidas way back in September, but Adidas pulled back their offer after our embarrassing Thursday night loss at Cincy on national TV.
- Under Armour got heavily involved after that and the Under Armour people were very confident that they were gonna get the deal done.
- The offers still weren’t what Debbie was looking for so she decided to wait it out in hopes that the market would improve.
- Russell Athletic made a big push towards the end of the football season, but they just can’t provide all that we need so Debbie never took them serious.
- Adidas finally got back involved around the end of the football regular season and the two sides agreed in principle on the deal around the time of the bowl game.
- Since then they’ve been finalizing all the details. One of the main final details was the length of the deal. Adidas wanted to do a 6 year deal and Debbie wanted to do 3 years so they compromised at 4 years.
- Debbie would not budge on going any longer than 4 years because she’s still looking to maximize our revenue. She believes we will be a totally different athletic department in 4 years (e.g. bigger name, more marketable, etc., etc.) so we’ll be able to get an even better deal then.