Q&A with Whit Babcock from Andy Bitter

In case anyone hadn't seen it, Andy did an interview with Whit and published Parts I & II over the last two days. It's really great stuff and there are some interesting bits of information.

Read Part I here.

And Part II here.

A few things stuck out to me, so I will highlight them here.

There is a special uniform combo for the Battle At Bristol:

We're hoping to wear something that maybe people haven't seen but it's not crazy. How about that? I'll just leave it at that. I think it's really sharp.

I have seen lots of people bemoan our deal with Nike, and Whit touches on the fact that it could be a bit better, but brings up some interesting points:

I think with Nike, though, typically when you look as these schools and what adidas is paying Under Armour and all that, typically Nike gives way less cash than the others do. They had more of the market, they give more in product and in some cases, adidas and Under Armour have had to come in and buy their way into other schools. So when people compare our Nike deal to somebody else's Under Armour deal, that Under Armour deal is often going to be more lucrative. What people should look at is just Nike deal to Nike deal.

Whit is also well aware of our alumni outreach challenges, and recognized some of the frustration from alumni letter winners. The whole alumni relations thing seems to be undergoing a major overhaul.

Kevin Jones is helping us a lot on that front. We felt like we had already made good strides, but it just shows that we can tighten it up a little bit more. But Kevin Jones will help us a lot there and is already engaged and has communicated with all the former players. Coach Fuente is. I appreciate his passion and I think we can do a little better in those areas.

Kevin Jones is an outstanding ambassador for our program and I am also very glad to see Coach Fuente on board with this effort.

There's also some discussion of facilities upgrades and donation goals; see Alex Koma's great interview with Tom Gabbard for more.

Finally, the Athletic Department is developing a leadership institute that focuses on career development. I love this idea as it reinforces the ability of VT to develop not only athletes, but trains people for success in their careers. I hope this becomes a unique cornerstone of our program.

Something new that maybe has not been talked about, we're talking about developing a leadership institute within the athletic department. It's not a building in itself, but this institute, actually the first class of it of student-athletes is over in Switzerland right now. But really work to develop this leadership institute as part of our student-athlete development, career development, resume writing, all that. Taking within the athletic department and having programming and instructors and other things on a leadership institute. We feel like that will be a bit of a game-changer.

Lots to chew on in these comments from Whit. Sounds like everything is heading in a good direction. What does everyone think?

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Comments

As long as the "Leadership Institute" stays career-prep and leadership-training focused, it's a spectacular idea. But it will have to watched like a f**ing hawk, stuff like that is just too easy to accidentally become an athletes only grade-assitance sort of deal, we do not need to be like UNC.

“I remember Lee Corso's car didn't get out of the parking lot.” -cFB

If it's going to be counted towards gpa I think it must be offered to all students. Pretty sure this wont be used in that regard

Taylor, looking desperately throws it deep..HAS A MAN OPEN DANNY COALE WITH A CATCH ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FIVE!!!!....hes still open

Maybe, maybe not, there are examples of certain classes being limited to certain membership.

Cadets sign up for cadet only classes that count towards the leadership minor for instance and are graded.

There can be criteria, but per NCAA rules none of them can be "you must be an athlete to be in this class." Enrolled in a certain academic program? Sure. That should be all it takes in this case. You need to voluntarily apply for/enroll in some leadership program that has (effectively) a study abroad component.

I understand Whit having to be politically correct and careful when talking about the Nike deal (since we hold a contract with them) but there's no way around it - our deal blows. UVa's Nike deal is worth more. I can understand blue blood schools being more valuable in Nike's eyes, but the disparity is pretty massive.

Schools with better annual contract value with Nike:

Washington State
Illinois
Purdue
Cal-Berkeley
Minnesota
Oregon State
Iowa

Our deal is only slightly better than Boise State and UNLV.
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/threads_and_laces/2013/12/datab...

When were those deals signed? What sports do they cover? Because I know for one example LOLUVA Baseball has their own deal so they don't need uniforms etc just more cash towards the overall deal.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

This data is to date as of the 14-15 year, and there has been some movement around the top in the past year or so (Michigan's huge deal, OSU taking over the top spot, etc). The Weaver administration signed our current deal. I assume they cover all sports, but not sure on the specifics about each individual school's deal.

So the deal was basically the final act of the Weaver administration before Whit took over. And it's less than half the total and annual value of UVa's. I think Nike is the best apparel company to be with by far, but we took an absolute low-ball deal and could have negotiated a lot better, IMO.

Whit is right, you have to compare Nike deal to Nike deal. That said, you have to go a step further and compare the total worth of the deal. Our original deal with Nike was one of their first and included mechanize/equipment for all sports. This included uniforms, shoes, swag for all sports, but also golf clubs, volleyballs, baseball gloves, etc. that's money we didn't have to spend out of the athletic fund.

That deal has changed a little over the years (I.e baseball doesn't have to use Nike helmets, bats...but can at no cost if they do) and it needs a little work, but it's not as bad as it looks on paper as compared to the other schools (who don't get the equipment provided).

We put the K in Kwality

But wouldn't the equipment provided be included in the value of the contract? If so, I don't see how a total contract value that is less than half of UVa's and a fraction of some of the other big deals out there is a good situation. We're in the same ballpark contractually with Nike as Washington State, Oregon State, and Boise State. That's not exactly good. Even the bigger contract Nike schools who don't have equipment provided get a ton more cash, so equipment wouldn't really be an issue anyway. If that's the reason why we accepted the low deal, then it looks like a tactic Nike used to pay us less money.

When did the Big Nike deals start coming out? Where was the VT deal when it was signed in terms of value compared to others?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Our latest deal with Nike came out in 2014. The big Michigan deal was this year, and I believe UVa's was as well. But there were already far, far bigger Nike deals out at the time ours was signed.

http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/threads_and_laces/2013/12/datab...

The database in this article has the information on contracts as of 2014. Information for some schools wasn't available, but it's pretty clear that this was a cheap deal at the time it was signed. One of the lowest in the ACC, and as far as just Nike schools, we're in the same territory as Washington State, Boise, and UNLV with contract value.

The thing that surprises me the most is the alumni outreach failure that has become a sore point this spring, with multiple former players noting a lack of connection with the program. Kevin Jones was hired almost 2 years ago as a special assistant to the AD. Now, we don't know what he has been tasked with over his first two years, but it would seem that using him to connect our alumni with the athletic department would be a natural way to utilize at least part of his time. I'm glad he's being used that way now, I guess I'm just surprised that wasn't part of his role from day 1.

It seems clear from Whit's wording that he danced around it a bit. He did throw out "misinformed" in his initial reply, then sort of reeled back. You can tell there have always been things in the works, probably some miscommunication, and probably some things that the alumni didn't know about. While I agree with the former players that they should be welcomed and involved in the Athletic Department, there was something about the wording of the public letter that rubbed me the wrong way. More of "hey, we're here, why aren't you coming to us?" than anything else. It's like being at a meeting where everyone agrees to get going on something right away, a few emails go around, then nothing happens, because there is no leader and everyone assumes it's someone else's job to get things rolling. I partly feel like if the alumni desired so strongly to be involved, what was the holdup? Why didn't they band together years ago (maybe right when Whit was hired, as I can understand that Weaver likely didn't foster the best environment) and make their presence felt, and lead the charge themselves, rather than waiting for the AD to come to them?

Take it for what it's worth but I think that falls on the head coach. Having lived in Knoxville through the Derek Dooley to Butch Jones transition -- the difference in alumni outreach and involvement is night and day.

Per the Battle at Bristol contract shared on TKP in a previous thread Tennessee will wear orange and Virginia Tech will wear Maroon or White.

It's Time to go to Work

I vote all-Maroon!

Reach for Excellence!

VT Football: It'll get after ya!

Proud Hokie since 2004.

We better not have checkerd flag uniforms....

@VTimHokie85

Why am I ok with this?

Here's a link to Croatia's soccer jerseys, for reference

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

When you talk about branding your team with a uniform, Croatia does it well. This is one team that I always recognize on the pitch.

This is one team that I always recognize on the pitch.

No they play soccer not baseball.

Outspoken team cake advocate. Hates terrapins. Resident Macho Man Gif Poster. Distant cousin to Dork Magic. Frequently misspells words.

What speaks to me from the interview is the part about the capital campaign. The timeframe of 18-24 months seems a bit coincidental with the big push of the scholarship fund.

The scholarships get paid first, whether we give more money or not. I think the HC is using this as a screen to actually ramp up donations to be used, indirectly, for the big capital improvements Whit talks about.

I realize this kind of goes hand in hand. I understand the need for better facilities as some are in major need and have been left out for a long period of time. I just don't like the angle that Whit and Co are pushing this, as necessary as it may be.

When we get to the point that Hokie Club donations exceed our athletic scholarship expenditures then I'll worry about where the "extra" money is going.

I agree with your outlook. It bothers me now because I am being forced to pay up beyond what I am comfortable with or stop attending games. That's a tough choice.

While cheaper or no-fee seats will be available, that is at the bottom of my list of options. I will have to evaluate closely.

Understood. There is definitely lots to evaluate for everyone. As with most changes, there will be some who the change will impact positively and some who it will impact negatively. Ultimately, we needed to go to a more modern donation model like all of our peers have done. I guess we will see in a year how it shakes out in reseating.

I am hopeful that everyone will be able to find a level where they can support the program at an amount they are comfortable and still get good seats if they want them. I will say if you're looking for some seats on the lower end of the donation requirement, the seats I got in the last reseating in Section 5, triple letter are pretty good. Not to say they are the best seats in the house, but I enjoy the games just fine from there and was very surprised they only carry a $100 donation per seat in the new model.

Why is the VT student-athlete leadership institute in Switzerland?

___

-What we do is, if we need that extra push, you know what we do? -Put it up to fully dipped? -Fully dipped. Exactly. It's dork magic.

Because there is no better leadership than neutral leadership....wait no that's not right.

"Don't go to, go through"

That team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked! I've seen teams suck before, but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

Thought something similar myself. Maybe there's already a program they want to utilize there?

Because Switzerland.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Whit, re: scheduling

. . . like we're talking to Arizona. I know and I like the athletic director there. I think it would be good. Sometimes it's relationships, sometimes putting it so far out, coaches don't worry about it so much because they're like, 'I'm worried about the next five or six years.'

So, it sounds like he wants to play RichRod?

Maybe Fuente can expose him for the worthless coach he is.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

or it's a tryout...

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

To be the whipping boy yearly for VT?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Weaver never wanted to schedule a Pac-12 school. We had Nebraska and some Big12 schools, but nothing further west. I totally support trips out west for Labor Day weekend

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Scheduling a home and home with a PAC-12 school is just logistically tough because of the distance. I think sticking with the Big 10 is a good strategy. Leave the long distance opponents for bowl games.

It's Time to go to Work

It is logistically difficult, but I would truly like to see us try to schedule a PAC12 or Big12 team every couple of years. Home and homes are great but a single neutral site in like a Dallas, KC, or StLou would help.

I'm fine with a Big10 or SEC team every year, and save the PAC or Big for bowl games, which are neutral sites. I just want us to qualify to play a good team in a bowl or playoff, and have it be someone we do not regularly face.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

It would be nice if SEC teams would schedule a home and home

It's Time to go to Work

Haven't you been paying attention. They are above that.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

just like thursday night games...

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

The neutral sites for matchups with PAC-12 or Big XII teams are so far away that they will struggle to get a big enough crowd to be worth it. As much as we would all like to see these games I don't see them happening any time soon. The only chance is a home and home way in the future.

It's Time to go to Work

I'd be ok canceling a few ECU games to do a home & home with Oregon, Texas, or Oklahoma. Or really any team.

Considering we've done home and homes with Texas A&M and Nebraska, and UVA has them with Oregon and UCLA, it's not really that inconceivable. Heck, I think Duke did a series with one of the California schools.

The main downside with the Pac-12 teams is running the risk of getting a 10:30 PM kickoff.

Another idea . . . we swap out some ECU games for Memphis on a 2 and 1 deal, and hope that Fuente's successors can keep the program on enough of an upward track to attract a Big 12 bid.

I think I'll pass on taking scheduling tips from UVA. I would hesitate to go all the way to the west coast.

Memphis would be a good game to schedule, has the added intrigue.

It's Time to go to Work

UVA also did home & home with USC. And then looking at SEC home & homes, we obviously did one with LSU and Duke did one more recently with Alabama. It's possible to get done.

Those games would be the premier out of conference games of the season for Tech so the ECU game is irrelevant.

It's Time to go to Work

The "one equity conference opponent per year" was really a Weaver mantra. Starting in 2020, we are doing 2 per year, so I see it as a reasonable option to drop the 2018 ECU home game and either the 2017 or 2019 ECU away game for a home & home with a Power 5 team. As things currently stand, here are the number of Power 5 OOC opponents we are currently scheduled to play each season:

2016: 2
2017: 1
2018: 1
2019: 1
2020: 2
2021: 3
2022: 1 (1 OOC opening in schedule - per Whit's comments this will likely be a neutral site vs P5 team)
2023: 2
2024: 2
2025: 2

That'll probably never happen. The only time we have more than one in the near future is due to Notre Dame. In the future when ECU isn't on the schedule they aren't going to go out and schedule a couple great P5 teams. If they do get a P5 team it'll be bottom tier like Purdue.

It's Time to go to Work

Oh, I agree it's unlikely, just saying it would be a reasonable change given our post-Weaver approach to OOC scheduling.

EDIT (to reply to your edit): starting in 2020, we have 2 Power 5 teams not named Notre Dame on the schedule every season (with the exception of 2022, which has a schedule opening and per Whit's comments sounds like it will get a 2nd P5 team as well). To your comment about a 2nd P5 OOC opponent being a bottom tier team, maybe or maybe not. We are doubling up on teams like Penn State & Michigan or Michigan & WVU in future years, and I wouldn't call either of them bottom tier. Plus you never know how good a team will be a few (or many) years down the road. (As an example, when Ole Miss scheduled Memphis in the summer of 2012, Memphis was coming off a 2-win season... then Memphis beat Ole Miss last year.) But even if we did replace ECU with a perennial bottom tier P5 team, I'd be fine with that. I'd gladly take a home & home with a team like Kentucky or Vanderbilt to break up the monotony of the ECU series.

Scheduled ECU games won't be dropped unless there is some overall move by the Power 5 schools to only schedule Power 5 schools. And I don't see that happening any time soon.

Well, we do have three Big 12 games coming up....a home and home and a neutral.

Granted, it's the red headed step-cousin of the Big 12...

I read that as "red headed sheep-cousin" and was more surprised that I got it wrong

Haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate, and hetzers gonna hetz

Any chance of expanding the stadium to that of or around the size of Arkansas (70k+)?

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Not until Lane's upper corners are filled consistently.

Meh, for that to happen, the ushers would actually have to enforce the location of student tickets.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

Or sell way more tickets than we have capacity for.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

where do you see adding 10k-ish seats? Closing in the corners? Making the North End zone like the South? Just curious.

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

I would guess making the NEZ look like the South. I really hope we get there at some point because that would look awesome.

Why would you want to? It makes no sense when the supply already exceeds the demand.

It's Time to go to Work

Well shit, I was just wondering if the discussion ever came up. Didn't mean NOW. Geeze, y'all anti-stadium growers need to chill.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Not 100% sure, but we either still are or just finished paying for the most recent stadium expansion and upgrades.

If anything I think we're going to see a trend toward smaller stadiums. I suspect Lane Stadium is right-sized for the future.

I think so, too. We don't need, and probably can't support, a 100k+ seat stadium, but I would think that it'd be possible for us to do a little reseating...like getting stadium seats instead of benches, especially in the west stands for the alums.

There are tons of alumni that get a left side sun burn, east stands tan.

It's Time to go to Work

I would like to get it into the mid 70k. I think that could be a realistic goal.

#FUENTEenFUEGO
Waho's suck
Uva swallows

Digging up an old thread, but I am hearing noise on Twitter from Clark Ruhland today about the contracts again... I found this Q&A with Whit interesting, IF we are seeing offers from other apparel companies. I personally do not want anything other than Nike - I think UA and Addidas uniforms look 'less classy' than Nike.

I will add that a #sauce I've talked to says that UA has a more than likely chance at being our next contract.

I am not excited about this news. Nike is still the biggest dog and strongest brand to recruits and their stuff is still the best quality.

Will be hoping strongly we retain a contract with Nike.

Hasn't Buzz been reported to have a *very* strong preference for Nike? Could we lose him over this?

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

Yeah, Buzz needs to win a little more before he can dictate VT's apparel deal, IMO. Or maybe his Nike connections could help him sign an ACC level kid over 6'05. I hear all this about Buzz and Nike and how he is so loyal to them and visa versa, but it's not like Nike gave us a raise or a hoops Jordan deal or anything when Buzz was hired. If UA wants to pay us what we are actually worth and not Purdue/Marshall money, then we should sign with them in a NY minute.

Someone break down the ties UA already has in play with VT for me

If i'm not mistaken, one of Kevin Plank's brothers is a Hokie

Former football player. My dad new him from VT, very nice guy. I don't think he is part of UA though.

UA would pay a ton more than Nike. I like Nike's gear and they do have some good options for uniforms (our current ones are bland and outdated) but they are paying us peanuts. If Nike doesn't pony up, we should switch.

I don't like this at all.

Boobie, tell 'em how we feel about it.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

low key the most fucked up scene in the movie.

Doesn't our current deal expire in 2022? So, wouldn't it be a little early for these talks?

@CraigThompsonVT

there may be room for a buyout, renegotiation.

I have a 30 year mortgage contract, doesn't stop a number of mortgage companies from sending me mail on daily to refinance my mortgage.

🦃 🦃 🦃

Agree, for other things there might be room, but Whit specifically answered that question in the Q&A referenced above.

@CraigThompsonVT

We should be trying to make ourselves a better priority for Nike, which is far-and-away the best in the game, instead of selling out to a mediocre alternative because we feel slighted.

Auburn, Notre Dame, USCe, UCLA, Wisconsin to name a few are all UA. I think we will be fine if we take their money.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

HokieCHEME2016 has UCLA listed as Adidas in his chart

Recruit Prosim

I believe they were UA before this year and have the new contract with adidas starting 2018

Chem PhD '16

14 out of the last 15 national champions are nike - with Auburn being the exception (15 of 16 if you count miami being nike when winning). I want to be associated with them, not garbage UA and Auburn, ND, and USCe.

No fuckin thanks.

"Now Miami wants to talk about it." *Cue Enter Sandman*

I think the way you get associated with National Champions is by winning one. You do that by winning games and having money in the program (which UA will probably at least double).... not by a 2 inch logo on your jersey.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

Obvioulsy I'm not suggesting having a different logo on your jersey is the difference between a 'ship and not. I'm saying I don't think it's a coincidence most champs are Nike. Granted, more teams are Nike, but they're the best more often than not.

"Now Miami wants to talk about it." *Cue Enter Sandman*

The only thing that is obvious to me is that you like Nike and want our team to wear it. I haven't seen any other suggestions.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

So you just want people to maybe, hopefully think of us when they think about think about National Title winners due to apparel connection? Surely you aren't suggesting they win those titles because they wear Nike.

UA is a lot "closer" to Nike than the pay disparity would be. In other words, Five Guys is a better burger than McDonalds, but not 20 bucks better. Nike is a "better" uniform supplier than UA but not millions better, which is what the disparity is. Nike is screwing us royally on our deal. Our deal is closer to Marshall's deal than UVAs. Wake has a better deal, Purdue has a better deal. Is Nike worth being wayyyyy undervalued/underpaid for? nope. This is a business and its not like UA's stuff is crap- they have some huge schools too.

This just in: dcwilson40 prefers McDonalds to Five Guys.

Film at eleven.

Nub nu. ;^)

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

One of the ways you do that is by talking to an alternative, even if mediocre.

If UA money can expand our recruiting budget and give us more reach than the Nike brand/money will, then we have to consider it. I'm confident Whit will do the right amount of due diligence and make the right choice.

As an aside, I personally prefer under armor to Nike, and I really like the UMD uni's. but I get that it's about recruits, not me.

Twitter me

If UA money can expand our recruiting budget...

Well, it's been shown that Adidas money can expand recruiting budgets, so why not UA as well? ;^)

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

Our deal is so bad it hurts. But that is common knowledge.

Always knew our deal was bad, but when you see this chart and who is actually above us in revenue...OOF, it's really bad!

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used."
- The BoD

I know man. You've got to take some programs with a grain of salt... obviously Kansas, UCLA, and Duke are going to have insane deals because of how nasty their basketball programs are...

but programs like Wake Forest, Boston College, Iowa, etc... there's probably 20-25 programs ahead of us that are complete head scratchers.

Maybe it's budget constraints on Nike's end? Pricing Analyst here - so that was my first thought - more schools equal less $ to go around, thus some getting more than others. But when you look at UCLA, that contract with Addidas is so large because they're going up against UCLA on another brand in the same market, which is a massive market. Boils down to being able to promote a brand within a given market, with some being more "nationwide" than others.

Look at West Virginia's deal. Enough said.

Seems to me that most of the towns and cities in this list are larger than Blacksburg. I wonder if that lowers the amount of our deal. Much easier to sell local gear in the larger areas.

I would speculate national exposure, brand, and TV time far outweigh localized merch sales as far as important variables go when considering these contracts. It would surprise me if that's heavily considered, especially since so much is purchased online anyways.

No doubt our deal is awful, but if I'm Clemson I'm irate.

Edit: Or Bama. Arguably the top 2 CFB teams for the last 3 years and their combined deal is less than Indiana's. Ooof.

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

My guess is that because most of the products sold by these companies are basketball related (shoes), having a strong football brand is almost irrelevant to the size of the contract.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

I get that but are Auburn and Texas A&M good basketball schools? I don't follow basketball at all so I have no clue. Also, with that logic, wouldn't Duke and UNC be higher?

"We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior" Stephen M.R. Covey

“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

it's worth noting when the contracts were signed. UNC is relatively low on the list because their deal was signed in 09, and each of the teams above them began in 2011 or later (except maybe duke bc NA), with a lot starting within the last 3 years. I'd expect that to rise.

edit: it makes our contract that started in 2015 look EVEN WORSE

Chem PhD '16

It's embarrassing some of the schools above us.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

GT with Russell Athletic is above us. That's unacceptable

Schools gearing up for a big payday (contract ends in 18):
North Carolina
Alabama
Oklahoma
Oregon
Nebraska

There are others, but these are going to go way up, I'm sure.

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

I thought UNC already got their big Jordan rebrand?

Russell Athletic is paying Georgia Friggin Tech ore than Nike pays us! That's the beginning and ending point of the argument.

We put the K in Kwality

IIRC GT went to Adidas

Recruit Prosim

Yea I was caught in the middle of the argument before I saw this. It's beyond embarrassing. If we aren't entertaining other offers, we're incompetent.

I don't see any rhyme or reason in these valuations

As best I can discern, a school's basketball program relevance and when the contracts were signed are the two biggest factors.

I wonder why Duke isn't listed Scratch that entire comment, I'm blind LOL

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

Maybe our layout is so low because Nike is paying our recruits directly? /s

We put the K in Kwality

They're not paying enough then, we should at least crack top 15 with paid recruits. Bring on the adidas money!

As an aside, it would have been OK to create a new thread for this. Thanks for sharing the insight.

I like Nike mainly because I like the Nike gear that we can buy. However, I will say that I don't think it looks as good as it used to. I haven't been online looking at stuff and thinking "damn, I've gotta have that" in the last year or two.

I would have ZERO problem if we went to UA. I think it is a great product and anything that brings more money to the athletic department works for me. If Nike cares enough, they'll give us more money. If not, see ya later.

As someone else said, UA has gotten a bad wrap because of Maryland, but it is the school that works with the company to say what they want and then approves it. The other UA schools (ND, Auburn, Wisconsin, etc.) look just fine to me.

Just stay away from Adidas. Awful.

whats crazy to me is Oregon at 38. I would have thought they were a lot higher. If phil knight sees this hes going to be pissed.

#Bapn ain't EZ

Wanna win put boobie in! Let boobie spin coach!

Keep the official contract low so that Knight can write off his payments to the school as a tax deduction donation.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

i wear a lot of under armour stuff around the house, mostly to annoy my 12 yr old and make it less cool and while i have a strong dislike for most of their unis, take the damn money if substantially more.

eric

"My advice to you... is to start drinking heavily."-John Blutarsky

I know UA gets a bad rap for the weird stuff they do with Maryland's unis (and others), but the switch at Wisconsin seemed pretty seamless:

old:

new:

Same with Notre Dame and Auburn. Wisky's new UA ones actually are an upgrade appearance-wise.

@CraigThompsonVT

I don't think it's fair to compare schools with deep history in college football like Notre Dame, Auburn & Wisconsin to Virginia Tech.

Those schools have long-established identities with their main jerseys, while VT has been content to tinker almost every year since the late 90s. I do worry a little bit about what Under Armour might do, but at this point I think the trade-off of increased payouts outweighs staying with Nike at basically what amounts to a discount rate.

Doesn't the school get review/approval of uniforms before they are mass produced? I can't see UA making a uniform if on review Tech said we are never going to wear that garbage.

You are right, but VT's Nike deal was great until instead of re-negotiating it, Part time AD Jim Weaver had one of his underlings simply "extend" the current deal for the same money, while these apparel deals were blowing up. HUGE mistake. And all of the talk about blacksburg, the hoops program etc is not valid, because our old Nike deal was GREAT by comparison. Weaver totally dropped the ball on this- totally.

These unis are definitely all upgrades, but they also all made the move to UA from inferior brands (2x Adidas, 1 Russell lol), not Nike.

That said, I don't think I'd have a problem moving to UA, I like their stuff in general. The UMD unis are over the top, but I think that's largely because they're the "flagship" for UA and the try to incorporate the MD flag into EVERYTHING. That's going to make them busy by default - the MD flag has a lot going on.

Maybe Big Baller Brand will make us an offer *sarcasm* LOL

that guy would probably expect VT to pay him for the right to wear his brand!

Anyone clamoring for a switch away from Nike should know that a non-Nike team has never made the playoff. /s

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

I'm not a huge Under Armour fan (cough, Plank gives large Maryland donations, cough), but I suppose I'd have to go with the one that gives VT a better deal than UVa.

VT and their G5 level embarrassing rip off Nike deal has never made the playoffs either, so why not get paid what we are worth from an apparel standpoint? And I'm certain MORE revenue in terms of apparel and licensing deals is a good thing?

You understand what /s means, right?

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Crap, sorry didn't see that

Pretty sure UA would already be bankrupt if they didn't capitalize on the outdoor sports market with all their hunting themed gear. That's not the company I want to get behind. I'm cool with us flirting for a better deal, but I don't wanna go home with UA.

We're getting shit on with our current deal. If someone else wants to pay us, let them do it. Adidas and UA sucked a few years ago, that's for sure. But some of their newer stuff is very sharp and modest. We will be fine. And I say this as a HUGE Nike sucker. My entire golf wardrobe is Nike polos and shoes (I have five or six pairs of Nike golf shoes), my irons are Nike. I have a Nike wedge. I used to game Nike balls.

But some of UA's stuff is really sharp:

I think it's unfair to judge everything UA does on Maryland's god awfulness. Nike has put out some stinkers too (hi, Florida!). There was also some discussion wondering how Maryland was landing so many recruits. Well, UA might be part of that equation...

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Agree with everything you said there....except for Nike golf clubs. Ugh.

Haha I was between Taylormade M2s, Vapor Flys, Callaway XRs, and some other big name club, I can't remember which. Hit the Nikes better than all of them. I love them.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Yeah... I mean, ignoring the traditional powers (because everyone gets up in arms when we try to compare ourselves to a "blue blood"), their looks aren't bad at all.

Sakerlina -

Northwestern -

Texas Tech -

Boston College -

Navy -

Hawaii

Yes, UA came out with some really funky uniform designs early on when they were first trying to get established, and yes, they go completely crazy with Maryland, but they've really reigned it in in recent years to the fact where they put out far more traditional uniform sets as a percentage of the whole than either Nike or Adidas. Their one-off uniforms (looking at you, Stars and Stripes days) can be a little over the top, but for the most part, they aren't bad at all.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

I think those all look absolutely awful outside of Navy and BC.

But I don't even really care about that, I care about what people my age and younger like the best, and that's Nike. Brand power is a big seller, Nike has the coolest gear with Adidas making a comeback with a strong lineup of shoes the last few years. But Nike is still top dog and who you want to be associated with.

Whoever pays the most money.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

100% of our finances prefer the bigger contract

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

True, recruits and the population at large prefer the Swoosh to other brands

That doesn't correlate to a recruit picking a school that doesn't have Nike threads however. It plays a factor, sure. But if a recruit is picking solely based on unis...eh we probably don't want him anyway.

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

There are many factors that go into being a recruiting powerhouse, and I assure you that the factors related to winning games, championships, and Natties are leaps and bounds more important to a recruit than the apparel sponsor. You know how you consistently win these days? Money. So more money = better program and better recruits. You almost never hear about a recruit spurning a school because they weren't Nike, at least not a successful school.

If a kid chooses a school based on what brand of clothes he wears on Saturday, he's a fucking dumbass and I don't want him on my roster.

I hear what you're saying, but there is a lot more to a brand than just the jersey. I'm sure anyone on this board that played sports growing up had their favorite cleats, shoes, gloves, bats, etc. I was a goalie and you couldn't pay me to use a brand of goalie glove besides the one that I was used to and felt confident using. I'm not saying that brand is the only factor, but for example if a WR feels confident wearing Nike gloves, that could play a small factor in his decision.

I get that. But at the same time, if what brand of a goalie glove is your fulcrum point for choosing a college, you're a moron...I agree with you, if it's a "bonus" that you like Nike gear and you're going to a Nike school, that's cool with me.

Have you spent any significant time with athletes? Baseball players are so crazy & superstitious about their gear! It shouldn't be the only factor, but I do think it can be a strong factor. That's why Nike/Adidas/etc spends so much money on AAU Basketball to get players hooked on their gear early on.

Here's a good documentary about AAU Basketball and gear:

http://www.espn.com/30for30/film?page=soleman

Brands aren't the only reason recruits pick a school, but it's a contributing factor. Some of these blue chip kids have up to 20 offers, they have to narrow the list somehow; It's an easy way to eliminate a handful of schools.

Also, love to post these tweets any time this convo comes up:

Twitter me

Yet VT wears Nike, and signs classes with a few 4 star players and ranked 20-30th typically. And hoops recruits over 6'05 clearly don't think Nike is a deal breaker in terms of VT.

I feel like Under Armor is more trendy with the younger crowd. But we could argue that all day and not come to an agreement since it probably varies everywhere you go.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

having normal kids and their friends ... it is. 100% promise you that. basketball league kids, ida know.

eric

"My advice to you... is to start drinking heavily."-John Blutarsky

The kids I know love UA. I just worry for UA that they are becoming too common and might go the way of starter in the future. They have hit it out of the park with some of their sponsorships though.

"with all due respect, and remember I’m sayin’ it with all due respect, that idea ain’t worth a velvet painting of a whale and a dolphin gettin’ it on" - Ricky Bobby

Really? Name one NBA MVP, Masters Champion, CFB champion, NFL MVP they sponsor.

We put the K in Kwality

NBA MVP


Masters Champion


CFB champion


NFL MVP

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

...I was making a joke...

We put the K in Kwality

I knew you were making a joke when you said Masters Champion haha. Certainly not the first thing people think of when they think Under Armour.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I want to be associated with whoever will pay us the most.

Right now, Nike is paying us $1.88m per year. If we can get 5-10x that with Under Armor (South Carolina makes $7.15m per year, Miami makes $7.5m per year, NC State makes $6.45m per year) or anyone else, then good riddance, Nike.

"Some days you’re a horse and some days you’re a horse’s ass. I’ve been a horse’s ass for a little while." - Roy Halladay

For your viewing pleasure

It's Time to go to Work

All I see is an extra $620,000.

Recruit Prosim

Post VT's uniforms they wore when Edsall beat us in Lane... Shiny silver pants, maroon old school striped jerseys and hokie stone helmets.. lol YAY NIKE...

Your ability to take a picture of a laughably bad helmet design and turn it in to an opportunity to complain about Virginia Tech uniforms is impressive.

It's Time to go to Work

Well, he was looking kinda dumb with a fiiiinger and a thumb in the SHAPE of an L on [the back of his]head

So we rationalize that recruits don't care about individual wins, but they care about brand of jersey?

Take whoever you can squeeze out the most money.

The 'recruits prefer it' argument seems very flimsy. I get guys have said certain things in the past, but we don't exactly tear it up on the recruiting trail anyways, and it's very hard to imagine us losing anyone due to UA jerseys.

An extra $6+ mil a year in the bank would help us land a lot more guys than we'd lose.

If we get an extra $6m it definitely outweighs any other considerations, but I will still be upset about losing the Nike sponsorship, personally.

It's not gone forever and we haven't really been taken care of by them since 2010. Money would be the best thing for the program and honestly looking at them now the UA jerseys look pretty good.

Recruit Prosim

^this

Money should be our main consideration. Nike might have the best brand but different kids are going to have different preferences, and I don't think we should make a decision based on something as unpredictable as that.

The fact that people are talking about the stupid Nike deal for the millionth time makes it painfully obvious we are in the off-season.

It's Time to go to Work

As long as the new deal is for more than 5 million, I don't really care who it is with.

Georgia Tech getting an Adidas upgrade.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I apologize if this was posted already somewhere else, but Will Stewart did an interesting article about all this last year that was really eye-opening for me.

TSL Nike Deal Article

That number in the graph above is the total value of the deal... including the actual uniforms.... so VT only actually gets $275k cash/year. When Beamer was here VT only saw $125k of that because he pocketed the other $150k a year. So basically we get our uniforms for free and not much more..... Awesome.

It always feels like we are also-rans with Nike. Our uniforms are a standard template with a color change, the gear is stale, and well just look at the deal. I haven't bought a new jersey in 10 years and have been waiting for a new style. I say either really get the rumor mill started for a brand switch and get Nike to re-sign early with a big improvement or move on. If UA makes VT a priority school since we are in their backyard, then make the switch.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

Sorry to derail the uniform conversation, but pertaining to Whit replacing Weaver... what's stopping us from getting "Stick It In" back?

Recruit Prosim

The kids now don't even know how the it goes. I just hear chants of "stick it in" from time to time. But it's not at all the proper thing.

We need an instructional video for the noobs.

woah-oh, woah-oh, woah-oh, stick it in, stick it in, stick it in.

Recruit Prosim

As VT I'll take more money every time. Get out of Nike and get a real contract with UA.

People are really in here bashing UA's uniforms when we've rolled out Foghorn Leghorn and orange camo jerseys?

C'mon.

Show me the money.

Hokies United l Ut Prosim

I'd actually love to see some realtree camo type jerseys like UL Monroe had with blaze orange helmets. But yea, Nike has given us some awful uniforms every now and then.

Recruit Prosim

I could be wrong but weren't most of those uniforms designed "in house" and slapped on a Nike template and not actually designed by Nike?

I think Nike "designed" the Pro-Combats and the Bristol Hokie Stone but all the foghorn leghorn type stuff in the Beamer twilight years was our own Athletic Department.

I have no idea so maybe. But that just means we should never ever have our athletic department design jerseys again

Recruit Prosim

Real Tree camo jerseys? No thanks! I can't imagine all those 757 and DC area kids would love a bunch of outdoorsy style jerseys. Don't need to give any more ammo to schools who recruit against us with the Redneck pitch.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I'd actually love to see some realtree camo type jerseys like UL Monroe had with blaze orange helmets.

The Poster Formerly Known As The Spirit Of Bernard Basham

Can't read the article because I'm not a paid subscriber.

Open it in In Cignito mode.

"Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."
-Ron Swanson

"11-0, bro"
-Hunter Carpenter (probably)

I've been underwhelmed by what Nike has done for our uniforms lately. The basic tweaks that they've made (other than the Hokie Stone) can be replicated by most companies in my opinion. I like that UA is thinking outside of the box with their designs lately.

"...I'm getting a little tired of hearing how good everybody else is..." -Coach Fu [This week: 1-0]