Ohio St. announces Nike extension for reported $252 million

Ohio State is on top again. Not on the football field, but in the bank.

The school announced on Wednesday that it extended its deal with Nike for another 15 years.

The Wall Street Journal reported the deal was worth $252 million, which would make it the most valuable deal in college sports on a per annum basis and in total size.

The Journal reported the breakdown includes $112 million in product and at least $103 million in cash.

Nike signed a 15-year deal with Texas worth $250 million in November and an 11-year deal, with an option for four more years, at a price of $169 million with the University of Michigan in July.

Neither Nike nor Ohio State would confirm the reported numbers, but the school's athletic director said it was in fact the largest deal.

"We were deserving in this deal to be No. 1 in the country," athletic director Gene Smith told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "There are a number of criteria in that partnership where we demonstrated that we performed extremely well, and so we feel that's where we should be."

As Ohio State has enjoyed success on the football field, so, too, has the amount of gear the school has sold. In 2002, Ohio State generated a reported $5 million in merchandise royalties. That number was $17 million last year.

Nike has made a concerted effort to lock up its premiere schools by signing them to longer contracts. It now has Ohio State through 2033, Texas through 2031 and Michigan through 2027 with an option to be extended through 2031.