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Michigan agrees to deal with Nike to outfit varsity sports teams

The University of Michigan is going back to the swoosh.

The school announced Monday afternoon that it has an agreement in principle for the world's largest shoe and apparel company to outfit all its varsity sports teams from August 2016 through the 2027 season. The basketball teams will be outfitted by Nike's Jordan brand.

Financial terms were not immediately available.

"After careful consideration, the right partner for the University of Michigan was Nike," Jim Hackett, Michigan's interim athletic director, said in a statement. "This decision, this partnership is about more than Michigan athletics; at the core, it is about our University community and it is about two great names reuniting for an opportunity that speaks to more than uniforms and apparel."

Michigan left Nike in 2007 for Adidas, whose 10-year deal for $82 million was the largest in collegiate sports at the time.

The move is expected to be well received by Wolverines fans.

"There's no question, whether you like Nike or Adidas product, that a lot of fans can't separate the fact that we won a lot more football games when we wore Nike," said Scott Hirth, co-owner of The M Den, the Ann Arbor-based official merchandise retailer of the school.

In three years with Rich Rodriguez and four with Brady Hoke, the football team went 46-42 while wearing Adidas. In the previous seven years, while wearing Nike under Lloyd Carr, Michigan went 64-24.

Hirth, who says he has sold at least 60 percent of the gear Adidas has made for Michigan worldwide, said he doesn't know how much the change in brand is worth to his business, but suspects it will be "sizable" given recent input from fans. That doesn't mean that Michigan saw any decline under adidas. Of schools represented by the Collegiate Licensing Company, Michigan has been behind only Alabama, Texas and Notre Dame in licensed royalties for the 2014-15 school year.

The deal will mean that adidas will be a lame duck for the first football season under new coach Jim Harbaugh.

Adidas has now lost some of its biggest deals, including Michigan, Notre Dame (which left to Under Armour last year) and Tennessee (which switched to Nike this year). Adidas still has some of its biggest schools in the Big Ten, including Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Michigan has an option to extend the Nike deal at its will for an additional four years through the 2031 season.