Notre Dame Football
Notre Dame Football has been outfitted by Adidas since 2001. In 2005, they signed a 10-year, $60 million exclusive deal with Adidas. Following the 2014 season, that contract will expire unless the two reach a deal before then. According to Uni-Watch, Under Armour is the leading candidate for the Notre Dame athletics contract.
Latest word I’m hearing is that Under Armour is now the leading candidate to get the Notre Dame contract after 2014.
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) December 16, 2013
Under Armour is currently exclusive outfitter for Auburn, Boston College, Northwestern, South Carolina and others. Exclusive deals are crucial for athletic departments. Former Notre Dame Athletic Director Kevin White said when the previous deal was signed:
The ability to outfit every one of those participants with shoes and apparel through this relationship — and at the same time subsidize grant-in-aid expenses which comprise one-third of our budget — has a major impact in terms of providing assistance to our student-athletes.
Nike is currently the leading the supplier of collegiate teams. However, Notre Dame would likely never deal with Nike because of the suspicion surrounding their corporate responsibility. The University of Notre Dame famously a policy not to sell anything that has been made in China. Therefore, whoever takes on the Fighting Irish as a partner must be willing to adjust their own policies to fit with the Universities.
Obviously, Nike is considered “the coolest” brand for young athletes selecting schools. However, this is probably a minimal factor in a recruits decision making process. Oregon has built an entire football powerhouse on uniforms. So, maybe they play a larger role than people would believe.
Regardless of who wins the Notre Dame contract sweepstakes in 2015, the jerseys will still be blue and the pants will still be gold. All that is stake is millions of dollars and a small logo on the upper corner of the jersey.