Fighting Illini Athletics will be continuing their relationship with Nike for at least another decade. On Tuesday morning, the university announced a new 10-year, $44.5 million contract extension with the apparel giant to provide footwear, apparel, and equipment for all 21 varsity sports.
The deal, which is now one of the top-20 apparel contracts in the nation, will go into effect on July 1, 2016.
Here's the full press release:
CHAMPAIGN, IL - The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) and Nike have extended their two-decade-old relationship for the foreseeable future as Nike will continue to be the footwear, apparel and equipment provider for the 21 Fighting Illini varsity sports. Nike has been the exclusive footwear and apparel provider for the DIA for 20 years with this 10-year agreement extending the relationship through the 2025-26 academic year.
"We are extremely pleased to extend our outstanding relationship and partnership with Nike," UI Interim Director of Athletics Paul Kowalczyk said. "Their commitment to us reinforces the fact that we have one of the strongest brands in college sports as this agreement has a value among the Top 20 in all of collegiate athletics. We will continue to work together to equip our student-athletes with the most exciting, cutting-edge apparel and equipment, while providing our fans a myriad of ways to display their Fighting Illini pride."
As with the existing agreement, all of Illinois' 21 varsity teams will wear Nike products, gear, uniforms, shoes and specified equipment and accessories.
"Nike is the industry leader and our coaches and student-athletes are overwhelmingly supportive of continuing this relationship," Kowalczyk continued. "From a competitive and recruiting standpoint, our relationship with Nike is vital as we compete for championships."
"Nike is especially proud to extend our longstanding relationship with the University of Illinois," said Kit Morris, Senior Director of Nike College Sports Marketing. "We strongly support the Institution's commitment to competing at the highest level and look forward to serving Fighting Illini student-athletes, teams, coaches and programs in the years ahead."
This extension will go into effect July 1, 2016.