According to an official press release, the Fighting Illini and Nike have worked together for the past 20 years, and their new deal ensures 21 varsity sports teams will be decked out in Nike apparel through the 2025-26 academic year. Per the release, Illinois interim director of athletics Paul Kowalczyk believes the new contract is a significant one for the university in terms of maintaining its status as one of the top colleges in the nation when it comes to athletics: We are extremely pleased to extend our outstanding relationship and partnership with Nike. Their commitment to us reinforces the fact that we have one of the strongest brands in college sports as this agreement has a value among the Top 20 in all of collegiate athletics. We will continue to work together to equip our student-athletes with the most exciting, cutting-edge apparel and equipment, while providing our fans a myriad of ways to display their Fighting Illini pride.