Nike, Jordan Brand close to securing NBA apparel rights

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It looks like the University of Michigan isn’t the only institution considering ditching adidas in favor of the swoosh.

Champion Jerseys
Champion, familiar to many fans growing up in the 90’s, lost their NBA rights to Nike toward the end of the millennium, before Reebok ultimately took over in 2001.

According to a Sports Business Daily report, the NBA may be on the verge of signing a long-term deal with Nike to serve as their exclusive outfitter beginning in the 2017-2018 season. In a new twist, the report suggests both the Nike and Jordan Brand logo could find their way to NBA jerseys if a deal is secured.

Sources say that while a framework of a deal is in place, nothing has been finalized up to this point. However, after current outfitter adidas walked away from extension negotiations in March, that left just Nike and Under Armour battling for top billing, and to this point, reports suggest the NBA is swooned by Nike’s international profitability. Nike produced approximately $13.9 billion in sales outside of North America in 2014, while Under Armour followed suit with “just” $288 million.

An agreement with Nike would serve as a return to form for the league, which was briefly outfitted by the Oregon-based brand in the late 90’s and early 2000’s following Champion’s extended reign, before Reebok signed a 10-year deal in 2001 (Reebok was eventually bought by adidas, leading to a contractual takeover of the NBA’s outfit rights in 2006).

Allan Brettman of OregonLive.com suggests an agreement could be announced as early as Friday at the NBA Board of Governors meeting in New York.