The University of Tennessee athletic department announced in a release Friday it has struck an eight-year apparel and sponsorship agreement with Nike Inc. to become the official apparel provider of Tennessee athletics.
The Nike deal ends a 17-year partnership between Tennessee and Adidas that began in 1997.
The agreement between the two parties will begin on July 1, 2015 once UT's current contract with Adidas expires. The UT-Nike contract will run through June 30, 2023.
Nike will supply all 20 of Tennessee's athletic programs – as well as the UT spirit squads – with apparel, uniforms, footwear and additional equipment.
"We were very thorough and deliberate in assessing and evaluating our options with our apparel partner decision," UT vice chancellor and athletic director Dave Hart said in a university release. "Nike is the right partner for the University of Tennessee moving forward. We appreciate our current partner and the strong relationship we have had for many years. We will continue to work together through the end of the existing contract."
Officially licensed Volunteer and Lady Vols Nike merchandise will be available for fans to purchase once the partnership begins in July 2015.
"We are very excited about the new partnership with Nike," Tennessee head coach Butch Jones said. "We have had a great relationship with adidas and will continue this year.
"It was major, major news today."
Tennessee will collect a "one-time commitment bonus" of $2 million from Nike.
The university will receive $1 million per year during the first four years of the contract and $900,000 the final four years.
In total, Tennessee will receive $34.9 million in cash, products and services over the eight-year span of the deal.
"Nike is especially proud to resume our association with the University of Tennessee," said Kit Morris, Nike sports marketing director, in the release. "We admire their rich tradition and are enthusiastic to begin working once again with Volunteer student-athletes, coaches and programs."
For more information on the Tennessee-Nike partnership, visit utsports.com.