Nike Playing Hardball With Alabama Gear Contract

Videos by OutKick

Despite sponsoring both teams in the 2021 CFP National Championship, Ohio State and Alabama, Nike pays the losing team’s program more per year and may not be willing to negotiate with the winning team anytime soon.

A tweet that surfaced claims that Alabama’s current market rate is $25 million, but Nike currently pays the program a measly $5.25 million per year through 2025. reports Alabama’s deal, which runs through 2025, is worth $63 million in apparel and cash, plus a $5 million signing bonus, while Ohio State — the team Bama defeated to become the national champions — is paid around $16 million per year.

“That works out to $5.25 million a year, compared to $18.7 million a year for UCLA and more than $16 million a year for both Ohio State and Texas,” the outlet reported in 2018.

The tweet says former Alabama athletic director Bill Battle signed the deal in secret back in 2002, and in a 2018 interview with, he said Nike was the only company the program was looking to work with at the time.

“We told them to make us an offer we couldn’t refuse, and they did,” Battle told “So, we took it, and we were pleased with it.”

At the time, the deal was called “lucrative,” but reports that the Alabama contract with Nike, obtained through a public records request, does not include language about renegotiating the deal. Each of the two previous extensions to the original 2002 contract were signed several years before the partnership was set to expire.

“I thought it would be good for the length of the deal, and if we have to go the length of the deal, I still think it’s good,” Battle said to “We may give up some on the upside, but we’re protected on the downside, and that was my goal in making those deals.”

Ohio State’s “groundbreaking college partnership” was announced in January 2016 and runs through 2033.

Ohio State and Nike agreed to a 15-year, $252 million deal that will give the university $112 million in product and “at least” $103 million in cash, which doesn’t include royalties, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal went into effect in part in 2016, and in full during the 2018-19 season. It will end in 2033.

Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Leave a Reply
  1. It’s depressing what these *team* contracts are worth, because they wouldn’t pay that much if the marketplace didn’t move with it. I know that the dudes in the premier league make more in endorsements than they do in salary, but that’s value linked to individual players. You want to be Kevin De Bruyne, but his favorite brand of T-shirt and watch. But who the hell buys Schutt cleats and helmets just because Texas Tech and Michigan State wear them? I thought the 18-34 demo was the most gullible, but apparently it’s 9-65.

Leave a Reply