Sometimes, it’s better to look forward than to tout the idea that you shouldn’t ever look back.
That seems to be at the root of the serious discrepancy in Alabama’s deal with Nike. Though reports and tweets estimate Alabama’s worth at $25 million per year, the Crimson Tide is making about a fifth of that.
Why? Nike made a pretty good business decision years ago.
AL.com reports the current agreement is worth $5.25 million per year through 2025.
Ohio State, the runner-up in this year’s College Football Playoff national title game, pulls in about $16 million per year.
Former Alabama athletic director Bill Battle signed the deal in 2002, and also two extensions. In a 2018 interview with AL.com, 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 AL.com. “So, we took it, and we were pleased with it.”
But what about the updates, new contract talks and improvements?
AL.com reported that the pact with Nike, obtained through a public records request, has nothing in it about renegotiating the deal.
Turns out Battle agreed to the extension through 2025 – in 2013!
According to an Al.com story in 2018:
“Unlike previous deals, Alabama never announced the deal signed in early September 2013 by Bill Battle, in his first year as Alabama’s athletics director.”
Alabama seems stuck with that $5.25 million a year.
Meanwhile, UCLA (with Under Armour) collects $18.7 million a year, and Ohio State and Texas? Each make more than $16 million per year under their respective Nike deals.
“I’ve always believed if you’re happy with where you are when you made the deal, I don’t ever look back,” Battle told Al.com in 2018.
Eh, that didn’t age well.