University of Louisville Athletics and Adidas have extended their partnership for five years through 2018-19, positioning the Cardinals among the top five nationally in footwear and apparel rights among all brands.
A partner with Adidas since 1998, the new agreement supplants the final year of the current deal which was to run through 2015. The new deal includes four years through 2017-18, with a defined probable additional year for the Portland, Ore. based company to supply footwear, apparel and accessories for all 23 of the university’s intercollegiate athletic programs.
“Adidas has been a loyal partner for 16 years and I am thrilled that we will continue through this significantly expanded agreement as we move into a new era in the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said Vice-President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich. “The synergies with the sport of soccer and our new stadium, future innovative uniform designs, and the passion adidas displays towards outfitting all of our student-athletes at the highest level nationally make this a model relationship.”
Beginning in 2015, the Cardinals’ football team will be outfitted with five different Adidas uniforms, allowing dozens of varying combinations when including helmets. Louisville’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will continue to have three or four uniforms from which to choose, as well as special postseason attire.
“As a long-time partner of Louisville athletics, adidas has been privileged to be a part of National Championships, Final Fours, BCS bowl wins, College World Series and College Cup appearances,” said Chris McGuire, Director of Sports Marketing for adidas. “The rich tradition and incredible recent success of the Cardinals distinguishes them as one of the most storied and consistent athletic programs in the country. Our partnership extension allows us to continue to provide footwear, apparel and accessories that help Louisville student-athletes become stronger, lighter and faster while building on their winning ways.”
Throughout the agreement, Adidas will provide extensive investments in the Cardinals’ athletic programs including advertising campaigns, equipment room expansion, digital/video technology, support for national champion spirit squads, a formalized sport administration internship program with scholarships for at least 20 UofL students working with athletic department leaders, and co-branding opportunities nationally and in UofL facilities, including TaylorMade equipment within the UofL Golf Club.
“We sure appreciate the generosity and energy from adidas with this thorough extension process,” said Brent Seebohm, UofL Associate Athletic Director for External Relations. “This is a landmark deal for all of our programs, with the UofL activation investments being a special exclamation mark to this comprehensive relationship.”
Cardinal coaches were also excited about the extension of Louisville’s partnership with adidas.
“We’re excited to continue our relationship with Adidas and appreciate their commitment,” said Rick Pitino, UofL men’s basketball coach. “It’s been a great partnership throughout the years and they have been a loyal participant in our entire athletic department’s advancement. We’ve built many lasting memories with our team’s success while wearing special Adidas postseason uniforms and those images will last with all of our Cardinal supporters. We look forward to experiencing many more great memories with adidas while meeting the competitive needs of our players.”
Cardinal fans will also directly reap the benefits of the new agreement, which includes spirit shirts for student season ticket holders and ACC inaugural year fan giveaways. Louisville fans in Kentucky and across the nation will continue to be able to purchase adidas gear including sideline apparel, coaches’ polo shirts, hats, jerseys, performance apparel and outerwear at a wide variety of quality retailers including the Cardinal Authentic official team stores, as well as on the official athletics website, shop.GoCards.com.
Adidas is the official uniform and apparel provider for the National Basketball Association and Major League Soccer and develops high-performance footwear, apparel and accessories for more than 70 collegiate programs including Louisville, Michigan, Texas A&M, UCLA, Indiana, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi State.
Update: ESPN reports that it’s worth $40 million over the five years.