Under Armour attempting to end massive $280 million deal with UCLA

Tanya Simon
June 30, 2020

Sports apparel company Under Armour has announced it is looking to call time on its record $280m partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Under Armour responded, stating that a clause in the contract allows for termination if the company is not provided agreed upon marketing benefits, according to CNBC's Jess Golden.

"Under Armour has recently made the hard 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 company said in a statement Saturday. "Cal Athletics remains steadfast in its commitment to support its student-athletes with the apparel and footwear they need to train, compete and succeed in their chose athletic fields".

Under Armour and the University of California, Los Angeles' (UCLA) athletics department are locked in a contractual dispute after the U.S. sportswear brand announced it would be cancelling its 15-year, US$280 million apparel deal. Under Armour replaced Adidas, and the deal went into effect in 2017.

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New UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond is familiar with Under Armour, having worked with the apparel company as part of its sponsorship of Boston College's athletic teams when he was the Eagles athletic director.

Under Armour also holds two other deals in the Pac-12 with Cal and Utah. Nike has deals with the other seven schools in the conference.

"UCLA has always been about challenging the status quo and breaking through barriers", Guerrero said then. It also provides about $7.4 million in clothing, shoes and equipment each year, and about $2 million each year for facility upgrades. Add in the fact that UCLA's athletic success has been limited in recent years, and the company likely feels like it failed to get good value when money is tight right now.

UCLA is planning to try and salvage the deal, UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero wrote in a letter on Saturday.

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