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University of Akron Zips blog

A look at Akron's contract with Nike

By mrasor Published: September 16, 2008

Men's basketball
Nike can terminate its three-year contract with the men's basketball program if the university fires Keith Dambrot for any reason.
That is the term that shocked me the most in the Zips' newly minted contract with the biggest sports outfitter in the world. Contract.pdf

    Here are other details...
    Akron will get 100 pairs of basketball shoes, 36 travel warm-ups, 24 travel bags, 24 basketballs (if used during games) and 24 polos. The team gets an additional $15,000 for team and staff use.
    In addition, a few people get to spend some serious Monopoly money on Nike gear. Dambrot gets $7,500 in Nike products for personal use. (Memo to coach: Get the new Nike Sasquach driver. You can't mis-hit that thing.) Three other staff members get $1,500 to spend for personal use. Mack Rhoades (or the current athletic director) gets $2,500 for personal use.
    The program gets $2,750 for running basketball camps. Nike also will pay $5,000 for marketing the team.
    Like I mentioned with the Ohio State contract, Akron players can't "spat" the Nike logo. In other words, they can't cover it up with tape or anything else. The first violation knocks Akron's product allotment down 10 percent, and it goes from there.
    Dambrot has to make two personal appearances for Nike.
    Nike gets four tickets to every postseason game. They must be the best seats in the house. And Nike must get the opportunity to buy eight additional tickets.
    Both sides must negotiate in good faith to renew the contract after the initial three-year term.

The contract sheds light on what LeBron James really did for his former coach. King James increased Dambrot's job security. Although it seems unfathomable now, there might come a day when Akron wants to get rid of Dambrot. Now, it will have to think twice.
This type of clause was not included in Ohio State's contract with Nike, and Ohio State has more prominent coaches than Dambrot in Jim Tressel and Thad Matta.
Speaking of the James Gang, ESPN.com has a fascinating story about the documentary featuring James, Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis. It's definitely worth the read. It sounds like filmmaker Kristopher Belman did a great job.
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