Kansas University's athletic department has had to add $245,000 to its sports equipment budget in order to make up for the expiration of a contract with Nike, the shoe, apparel and equipment company that has been eliminating its contracts with most colleges because of the tight economy.
KU signed a four-year deal with Nike in 1997 that provided its athletic department with $245,000 worth of equipment and $105,000 in cash per year.
The cash payments stopped last year when the contract expired, but Nike agreed to continue to provide equipment and apparel for an additional school year since KU's teams had already placed orders with the company.
Kansas still has agreements with Nike for football and men's and women's basketball that pre-date the '97 pact.
"We're disappointed we were not able to continue the all-school deal," KU senior associate athletic director Richard Konzem said, indicating many of KU's sports will continue to purchase equipment from Nike.
The track program, for instance, has taken advantage of Nike's two-for-one deals since the late '70s.
Kansas men's basketball coach Roy Williams at his annual meeting with Nike lobbied to keep the all-encompassing contract in place.
Williams was instrumental in KU getting the all-school deal five years ago.
"When it came time to re-up, coach was involved, but was told the marketplace right now is not conducive for such deals. Across the country that's the way it is," Konzem said. "This is really not anything new, it's gone back to the way it was prior to the 1997 contract."
Susan Wachter, the athletic department's chief financial officer, has built the lost Nike revenue into the 2002-2003 fiscal year budget.
"Any time you have to come up with an additional $350,000, it's not like $3 million, but $350,000 is a lot of money," Wachter said.