Not even five years into its 15-year mega deal with UCLA, Under Armour is already looking to extricate themselves from the agreement.
The Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bloch reported the Baltimore-based Under Armour has informed UCLA is wants to end the record-setting 15-year, $280 million dollar , which was the largest footwear and apparel sponsorship in college sports history, deal that was signed in 2016.
Apparently UA’s impetus on cutting the agreement short stems from the company has not felt UCLA has not come through on agreed upon marketing benefits. This was explained in a statement, via the Los Angeles Times:
“Under Armour has recently made the difficult decision to discontinue our partnership with UCLA, as we have been paying for marketing benefits that we have not received for an extended time period. The agreement allows us to terminate in such an event and we are exercising that right.”
UCLA is trying to save the deal, as annually it nets them $11 million in rights in marketing fees, $7.4 million in clothing, shoes and equipment and another $2 million in facility upgrades. Outgoing UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said this in a letter, also via the LA Times:
“We are exploring all of our options to resist Under Armour’s actions and will share more information as we can. We want to reassure you that UCLA Athletics remains committed to providing our hard-working staff and student-athletes with the footwear, apparel and equipment needed to train and compete at the highest level.“
If the two sides cannot come to terms on how to continue this arrangement, this will open the door for the other two giants in the athletic apparel industry, Nike and Adidas, who UCLA was partnered with prior to the current deal with UA. Under Armour currently also has deal with two other schools int he PAC-12 , Cal and Utah.