UCLA appears to have a chance to sign the most lucrative apparel deal for a college athletic department in history.
Texas and Ohio State are the two apparel deals, both with Nike, that currently are considered the richest in college athletes, with both worth about $250 million over 15 years, which equates to a little over $16 million per year. Michigan's Nike deal is close to that, which calling for a total of $169 million over 11 years, about $15.4 million per year.
The consensus from various sources close to the apparel companies is that Under Armour's proposal to UCLA will be competitive annually with those figures and very well could top it. Adidas's bid, according to sources, is currently a little bit less than Under Armour's, but would also possibly be the nation's richest.
The remaining questions are:
1) Will Adidas up its ante to UCLA? Many close to the situation believe they will ultimately decide not to get outbid for their west coast flagship.
2) If Adidas doesn't improve its bid, does UCLA still feel Adidas provides enough benefits beyond Under Armour to accept a bid slightly less? It would still be a record for the richest deal in history.
3) Where is Nike in all of this? We haven't heard details about the amount of Nike's bid, and we're unsure if the company has actually put in its bid yet. Sources, though, are in agreement that Nike's bid is (or will be) less than Under Armour and Adidas. Nike's sales pitch to UCLA, however, is based on the advantages of going with Nike, offering UCLA its Jordan Brand line of apparel, and that Nike does Olympic sports really well, which is a weak spot for Under Armour. Also, one thing to consider: players, both high school and college, don't care for Under Armour cleats, and prefer Nike (or Adidas). Nike hasn't given up, really wanting to secure UCLA and provide the company a virtual monopoly in Los Angeles for sports franchises.
From what we've learned, the UCLA deal, though, isn't imminent -- meaning it won't happen in the next few days, but more likely within a couple of weeks.null