Oakland University Athletics signs decade-long contract with Nike, Nike LIDS


The Oakland men’s basketball team visited the Nike Campus in Seattle, Wash. last week before the game against the University of Washington. Oakland University Athletics is set to announce it has signed a 10-year deal with Nike and its authorized dealer, Nike LIDS, at the men’s basketball game against No. 1 Michigan State tonight.

Oakland University Athletics has signed a 10-year apparel, shoe and equipment contract with Nike and its new authorized dealer, Nike LIDS.

Nike and its previous authorized dealer, Team Sports, have been the exclusive providers of apparel, shoes and equipment for athletics for the last seven years. The current deal with the university ends May 31, 2016.

The announcement by the department will officially be made tonight during the men’s basketball game against Michigan State at the Palace of Auburn Hills. 

“I think it speaks to Oakland University that a company like Nike LIDS with Nike would want to come to the table for that kind of longevity,” Director of Athletics Jeff Konya said of the deal last week. “They came with an opportunity that was really too good to pass up.”

According to Konya and Senior Assistant Athletic Director of Public Relations Scott MacDonald, although long-term contracts are typical for high-major programs, they aren’t as common for mid-majors like Oakland. Konya added that the contract is also one of the highest for an NCAA-IAAA school.

Konya credited the success of the Golden Grizzlies in recent years for allowing the opportunity to sign a contract like this one to be possible. He mentioned that Oakland has been Division I for a little over a decade, making it even more notable.

The decision to sign the contract was made with input from a variety of people on campus, including the vice president of communications and marketing, various team coaches, members of the student-athlete advisory committee, the senior administrative staff and current student-athletes.

Factors were evaluated based on financial terms, customer service and perception of the brand, which Konya called “the most respected brand in the world,” as well as how it fits in with the department’s current culture.

Konya also discussed how the Nike store that is expected to open in downtown Detroit during spring 2016 brings the brand closer to home.

Another factor was the stock Oakland already has built in Nike, which Konya estimated would take $150,000 to match if another brand was chosen to replace it. The other four brands that offered contracts to Oakland were Under Armour, Adidas, Johnny Mac and BSN Sports.

Contract details

Athletics received unanimous approval from the Oakland University Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Dec. 2 to sign the apparel, shoe and equipment contract with Nike. It was the first time such an action required board approval.

According to the documents presented at the meeting, during the contract term, Oakland will receive $1.13 million in Nike Retail Dollars.

In addition, athletics will have access to discounts ranging from 35 to 50 percent on retail purchases, along with additional incentives for specific teams, overall performance and the amount of money spent at Nike LIDS.

During the contract’s first year, the men’s basketball team will receive 60 pair of shoes, 20 warm-ups, 20 bags and 20 game balls.

On Oakland’s end, the department must spend at least $150,000 annually with Nike, which MacDonald said athletics already spends well over. For every dollar spent over that amount, the department receives 10 percent back.

Oakland will also provide Nike and Nike LIDS with incidental marketing and promotions in practice, competition and in front of the media.

Other benefits for Nike include game advertisements, game tickets, recognition and signage at home games and a foursome/hole sponsorship at the department’s golf outing. Coaches will also be required to attend clinics.