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​Ohio State and NIKE sign groundbreaking college partnership

Contract extension sets new standard for university-wide benefits

By: Chris Davey

Published on January 14, 2016

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State University and NIKE have set a new standard for how a collegiate contract can benefit the entire student body.

The innovative 15-year agreement announced today delivers unsurpassed value to the university by investing heavily in Ohio State’s student-athletes while also providing benefits for the broader student body.

Examples of benefits beyond athletics include monetary support and products to enhance the student experience, a significant endowment for student scholarships and NIKE internships for both athletes and non-athletes.

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

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.

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.”

“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,” comments 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.”

Ohio State’s student-athletes excel in the classroom, leading the Big Ten Conference on several measures. For 2014-15, 304 Ohio State student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors (tied for first in the Big Ten), and 80 students were named Big Ten Distinguished Scholars (the most in the conference).

Smith said the university is pleased to extend its relationship with NIKE.

“Our athletes deserve the best performance wear to compete at the highest levels and get the most out of their experience,” said Smith. “We’re proud to make NIKE products available for our student-athletes.”

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Chris Davey
614-292-5962 | Email

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