Grand Canyon University Inks Sponsorship Deal With Nike

By Kristena Hansen
Published: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 6:08pm
Updated: Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 8:54am
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(Photo by Steve Shadley - KJZZ)
Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.

Phoenix-based Grand Canyon University has inked a five-year contract with Nike Inc. for its entire athletic department, school officials said Wednesday.

The deal is notable because it marks the first time a major retailer such as Nike is sponsoring a for-profit university’s entire sports program. It’ll cover apparel and footwear for all coaches and student athletes, however further contract details were not disclosed.

“Before Gonzaga was Gonzaga, Nike had a deal with them. Before Butler was Butler, Nike had a deal with them. Before VCU and Wichita State and George Mason were tournament teams, they were with Nike,” Eric Lautenbach, Nike’s senior director of basketball sports marketing, said in a prepared statement. “One day, I could be referencing Grand Canyon when I talk about our relationships with schools that set no limits on the championships they pursue.”

The contract essentially expands and solidifies an already existing relationship between the duo. GCU officials said the retail giant has had a sponsorship agreement with the men’s basketball team for the past several years. Many of GCU’s other 21 teams also have chosen to purchase Nike gear over the years.

The GCU-Nike deal announcement comes about a month before Arizona State University’s 9-year contract ends with Nike and its new $33.8 million-contract with Adidas begins.

GCU also announced Wednesday that it had entered new contracts with men's basketball coach Dan Majerle and baseball coach Andy Stankiewicz.

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