by Stephen Garner


Nike Inc. has agreed to a $252 million deal with Ohio State University to extend its existing sponsorship by 15 years. Under the terms of the agreement, Ohio State will receive $112 million in product from Nike and at least $103 million in cash, including royalty income.

The majority of the benefits take effect in August 2018, when the previous contract would have expired. Other benefits — including cash and product commitments — will be provided immediately in addition to commitments that Nike will continue to provide under the terms of the previous contract.

“The comprehensive nature of this partnership is a win for all Ohio State students,” said university president Michael Drake. “The expanded commitment by Nike will support access, affordability and excellence for Buckeye students and student-athletes across our campus.”

“The Ohio State University has been a Nike partner for over two decades and we’re delighted to extend that partnership with the school through the 2033 academic year,” said president and GM of Nike North America Joaquin Hidalgo. “Nike and Ohio State share similar values of innovation and a commitment to excellence, and we look forward to an exciting future both on and off the field for years to come.”

With 36 varsity sports and more than 1,000 athletes, Ohio State has one of the largest self-sustaining athletics departments in the country. The athletics department is also a significant contributor to the broader university, contributing more than $30 million a year to support projects such as the renovation of the Thompson Library.

“We approached this as a university contract, not one that’s purely focused on athletics,” said Gene Smith, Ohio State’s vice president and Wolfe Foundation-endowed athletics director. “Under this partnership, every student — whether they play club sports, Division I sports or no sports at all — will be eligible to benefit.”

In the past year, Nike has also signed a 15-year, $250 million renewal with the University of Texas at Austin and reached an 11-year, $169 million deal with the University of Michigan, Ohio State’s rival.