Monday, May 18, 2015

Michigan Monday: Wolverine Shoe Wars Update

The topic of Michigan's official gear is getting pretty hot.   Michigan has now visited all 3 vendors (UA, Nike and Adidas) and will accept bids from each vendor.   Adidas is feeling pretty confident they will stay with them after a recent visit to their US HQ in Portland:

"It was a good meeting, very positive," Chris McGuire, Adidas director of sports marketing, told The Detroit News. "They're doing their due diligence, as we would expect. It went well, and we really like the direction Jim has Michigan going. We have a sense of Jim's vision, which is exciting."
McGuire said Adidas is confident in its relationship with Michigan since the two became partners in 2007 after Michigan moved from Nike.

"Michigan will continue to be the flagship," McGuire said. "We have great partners in the college sector, like Miami and UCLA, but we look to Michigan to drive our brand. Michigan is still the crown jewel.

"There is a play globally for Michigan. We like what they have to offer and the strength of the Block M resonates. We have a global reach and can help enable the school to grow globally."

Under Armour is obviously new to this process and it will be interesting to see if they will "over pay" to try to get the Michigan brand.   They just did that with Notre Dame.   Nike feels they are the preferred vendor and might "under pay" to use the leverage they have in the market and with the student athletes.   Adidas seems ready to continue to pay big dollars to get Michigan as one of their partners.    Michigan's contract won't go down, so I expect this is probably a UA vs. Adidas battle.   The big question remains will Nike pay up to become Michigan's partner again?  

I expect a decision in July.  It could be drawn out until the end of the year, but I believe there will be a decision by the end of the summer.

  • Maize it!  Another note from the above story is that Michigan is moving away from the highlighter yellow and back to the deeper Maize.  "The sentiment was to go back to the mustard -- for lack of a better term – away from the sun (color)," he said. "It takes a way to get that evolution, but that's a positive for us. We're pretty much full-go right now."

  • The rumor mill is spinning again that Michigan might be looking at another graduate DB transfer to replace The Count.  Transfers are now a big part of college football.

  • Ann Arbor Skyline LB Daelin Hayes got an invite to Nike's Opening.

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