Auburn Signs Most Lucrative SEC Apparel Deal Ever with Nine Year Under Armour Contract Valued at $78.1 Million

Published on October 2, 2015 by Darin White  

Auburn extended its contract with Under Armour with a new deal that will span nine years and is worth $78.1 million with apparel for all of Auburn’s athletic teams. AL.com reports that Auburn will also get $4.5 million in royalties and $675,000 in marketing. This averages out to be approximately $9.25 million per year.

How does this compare to other recent apparel deals?

Back in July Michigan signed the most lucrative apparel contract deal in the history of college sports with Nike. According to CBS Sports, Michigan is receiving between $10.1 million and $10.9 million per season through 2027. Two weeks later Notre Dame and Under Armour announced that they had agreed to a deal that topped the Michigan/Nike deal. Since Notre Dame is a private school, the details of the 10-year deal was not announced, but ESPN reported that the "value of the deal, in cash and merchandise combined, is worth about $90 million."

Other recent apparel deals (from SB Nation)

  • Georgia signed a new Nike deal in 2014 worth at least $40.8 million over 10 years
  • Tennessee ($5.5 million from adidas)
  • LSU ($4.2 million from Nike)
  • Florida State signed a contract extension last year that will pay the Noles $5 million per year

Nike's Michigan deal was a sharp detour from its previous strategy. Nike historically has not been willing to match the mega apparel deals that Under Armour and adidas have signed with college programs. Since Nike owns over 90% of the market share for the basketball footwear market, serious basketball schools struggle to move away from Nike for recruiting reasons. As of July, five of the top apparel contracts in the nation were with adidas, three with Under Armour, and only two with Nike.

What about Auburn's Cross State Rival Alabama?

According to Fox Sports, Alabama is set to receive $2.9 million in equipment and apparel and $780,000 in a cash payment for the 2015-16 season, totaling $3.68 million. It will be interesting to see how high Nike is willing to go to keep Alabama when they renegotiating that apparel deal in the next couple of years.

This blog post was written by Darin W. White, Ph.D.