NIKE and Michigan

Pulled from the Uniform Timeline, a few tidbits from our history with the Oregonian goddess of victory:

1976:  Best we can tell (and by we, I mean me & the illustrious Dr. Sap), Nikes first appear on the feet of a Wolverine, here shown on #41, the great Rob Lytle (and yes that’s Ricky Leach killing it in the Pumas):


1983: Nike becomes the exclusive shoe provider for Bo’s men.


March 1994:  Michigan signs 6-year contract with Nike for, “apparel and shoes, totaling more than 23,000 items over six years for football, basketball, hockey, baseball, softball, swimming, wrestling, golf, tennis, field hockey, cross-country, track and field, gymnastics, volleyball, soccer and cheerleading squads.”

January 1, 1998:  Michigan wins Rose Bowl and the national championship. (OK, that wasn’t Nike’s doing – but clearly wearing the swoosh didn’t hurt).

July 2007:  U-M signs contract with adidas for footwear and apparel for all 25 U-M athletic teams. The new agreement begins with the 2008-09 academic year and extends through the 2016-17 season.

September 8, 2007:  Nike mogul Phil Knight buys rounds of drinks all over Ann Arbor before visiting the Big House to watch his Ducks destroy your beloved Wolverines – one week after The Horror:


January 1, 2008:  Final Nike jersey appears after adidas deal signed.   Jerseys include Capital One Bowl patch on left chest on white jersey.  Lloyd Carr beats this guy and gives him a rub on the belly to make him feel better:


April 13, 2013:  During spring practice quarterbacks wear orange Nike-manufactured Oregon State jerseys with black numbers with Adidas logo sewn on (left):


Today: U-M reaches agreement in principle with NIKE to become the Wolverines’ official athletic footwear, apparel and equipment provider to 2027, with an option to extend the deal to 2031.


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  1. I think your “July 1997” should be July 2007.

  2. Hmmm….signed with Adidas in 2008 and hired RR. Losing conference record from 2008-2014 (24-32). I like the change….

  3. Hopefully they bring back the Tom Brady road jerseys…