Following the Blue Raiders’ inter squad matchup during its Murphy Madness event, MTSU President Sidney McPhee and Middle Tennessee announced a new five-year contract with Nike.
With this new deal, Middle Tennessee is now officially a Nike-sponsored school, and all athletic teams will be outfitted with Nike gear.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, other than it will provide around a 40 percent discount on Nike gear for the university. It will also allow MT to order exclusive gear directly through Nike, instead of going through a wholesale provider at a more steep price.
MT’s football team won’t see much change, given that it had already been operating with Nike to begin with. But, with other athletics around campus, they will now be wearing more apparel from the global giant.
Another benefit that MT officials and coaches see out of this deal is the potential attraction of new recruits.
“They are a worldwide leader and industry standard,” MT athletic director Chris Massaro said. “The coaches tell me that it’s one of the biggest recruiting advantages. Those kids want to wear that ‘swoosh’, and to be able to tell them that we’re an official Nike school, we are looking to capitalize on that, particularly in recruiting.”
Middle Tennessee has had an indirect eight year relationship with Nike, with the most recent change coming in the form of new uniforms for the football and basketball teams.
This new deal has been in the works for awhile now, with both parties having been in talks since January.
Corporate members of Nike brought up MT officials to its Nike Summit back in January, with both sides beginning to negotiate on a deal.
“It was a mutual interest that Nike had in us, and we wanted to extend that relationship,” MT associate athletic director Kortne Gosha said. “We believe in providing the best for our student athletes. As our programs have elevated their competition on the field, such as our bowl history and what coach (Rick) Insell and (Kermit) Davis have done with basketball, it attracts Nike to us. It is a very mutual relationship and it benefits both parties.”
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