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Tennessee Extends Contract With Nike

Tennessee just recently released that they have extended their contract with Nike for an additional three years, with an incentive of new bringing in new apparel each year.

After the extension, the contract now runs through the 2025-2026 season instead of 2022. Apparently, then AD Dave Hart signed the amendment back in October. When Hart announced his intent to retire last August, it almost seemed as if he disappeared and was said to have been working on some “personal projects.” Well, this was definitely one of those projects.

According to the release from GoVols247, the contract extension is now worth $11.6 million. Compared to the former contract of $7.6 million over eight years, it’s a jump, but a small one at that. For more details on the contract, you can go here.

Here’s a ranking of the top 20 schools with the highest apparel deals (as of summer 2016, before the new deal) and where Tennessee’s original contract stood:

As you can see, Tennessee was behind programs like South Carolina, Louisville, Indiana and NC State. Even with the new extension and slight improvements, they will still be behind several programs. Despite what the national media feeds us, Tennessee should be considered an elite program and that means making elite money.

Entering the third year since Nike’s arrival in Knoxville, there seems to a be a pot of mixed feelings surrounding the entire thing. Yes, bringing in Nike was a fresh of breath air from Adidas. Nike has always been considered the top brand for many reasons, so it was finally time Tennessee got on board. It just makes Tennessee look better.

However, the bad finances of the deal brought in a lot of criticism from the fanbase. Not to mention, the entire Lady Vols rebranding situation caused an uproar. Will new AD John Currie be able to bring the brand back into existence? That remains uncertain and right now, unlikely. Hopefully, given his history with funds, he can eventually renegotiate a better and more lucrative deal as a whole. At least this is some type of small step forward.

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