As U of M and Nike start deal, crowds turn out to celebrate and shop
A contract that could be worth $173.8 million between the University of Michigan and Nike went into effect today at midnight.
In Ann Arbor, people started lining up as early as 8 a.m. Sunday to be among the first to buy new Michigan Nike clothing when the retail store the M Den opened at midnight. Part of State St. was blocked off for more than two hours Sunday night and fans packed the road to hear pep talks from Michigan Head Football Coach Jim Harbaugh, former Michigan player and Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, and members of the current football and men's basketball teams.
Beloit, WI resident and Michigan football season-ticket holder Nick Faralli stood in line for about six hours.
"Nike's the biggest, most popular, great brand in this country that kids want to wear, so why wouldn't we want our football program and basketball program to be a part of that?" he asked.
The deal makes the Michigan football team the first to partner with Nike's Jordan Brand. This fall Wolverines football and and men's and women's basketball players will wear the "Jumpman" logo, which is a silhouette of NBA legend Michael Jordan playing basketball.
The U of M's previous agreement was with Adidas. The contract with Nike is for 11 years with a university option for another four.