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University of Illinois extends Nike deal

The athletics department of the University of Illinois and global sportswear giant Nike have agreed to a 10-year extension of their long-running partnership.

Nike, which first teamed up with the university in 1995, will remain the exclusive footwear and apparel provider for its Division of Intercollegiate Athletics until 2026. The new deal will become effective on July 1.

Under the agreement, Nike will continue to provide the uniforms for the university’s 21 varsity sports teams.

The university did not disclose financial terms of the agreement, although the Crain’s Chicago Business website claimed the deal would be worth $44.5m (€40.8m) in total, which would be almost three times the amount it currently receives. The website added that the university would receive the money solely through retail products and not in cash.

“We just made the decision that, for us, it was better to make sure we eliminate cash expenditures with Nike,” Marty Kaufman, the university’s assistant athletic director, told Crain’s Chicago Business. “We feel like we’re in a significantly better position and feel that this is a top 20 deal nationally in terms of what’s been signed (by other schools).”

Nike last week agreed a long-term extension of its partnership with Ohio State University. The company’s 15-year agreement with the university was worth a reported $252m, which would make it the most expensive deal in college sports history.