Apparel deals with
Privileged Power Five programs are usually very public bragging points for both the college program and the manufacturer. Group of Five programs generally negotiate their deals with quiet dignity (or shame). After all, we can’t all be UCLA, enjoying a fat $18M per year contract with Under Armor, right?
However, visible G5 programs can negotiate a meaty-ish slice of pie. Recently the Arkansas State Red Wolves signed a new 7-year, $11M agreement ($5.25M guaranteed) with Adidas. The fresh deal – which covers football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball and the Olympic sports – represents a whopping 357% increase in gross maximum total revenue over the previous arrangement, which had a gross maximum of about $2.4M.
Adding up the value of an apparel contract can be tricky. Details are often secret, and many times the value of the merchandise is wrapped up in the bottomline. In fact, it’s not uncommon for lower-tier programs to receive a set value of merchandise and no cash. The richness of the Red Wolves’ new contract seems to indicate that Arkansas State brings good value to Adidas (thank you, mid-week ESPN games), and the deal could be* the juiciest in the Sun Belt. Clearly, the administration’s effort to elevate the university’s sports program to one of the best in the Group of Five has reaped its rewards.
Cash is just one reward, of course. The new deal with Adidas unlocks other perks as well, such as increase the number of uniform options, including “strategy uniforms” which could be stylized in unique color schemes and combos. So if you ever wanted to see a bad ass camouflage Red Wolves football jersey unveiled during November’s hunting season, your chances have increased significantly.
*If you know your Sun Belt’s apparel contract is juicer, please leave a politely-worded comment.