Under Armour tried for a long time to assert itself as a major player in the college athletics apparel wars and paid a lot of money to land some significant team brands. Now, though, the company is struggling and cutting costs, which includes nixing some of those apparel deals.
UA late last week announced it was terminating its 15-year, $280 million contract with UCLA, as well as its contract with Cal. Boston College may be next in line. I’d imagine that a variety of legal haggling will at least keep the money and equipment (not that they’ll necessarily want the equipment) to these schools through the end of this year, but then again, don’t listen to me, I’m not a lawyer.
If Under Armour continues to contract its way out of college sports, it’s going to leave schools in a tough spot, because it’s not like they have a lot of alternatives, obviously: it’s either Nike or Adidas. And if you happened to sour one of those two over switching to UA when you did? Then the other one has all kinds of leverage over your negotiations.
It’ll be interesting to see how UCLA’s legal battle works out, and whether or not Under Armour’s cuts extend to other prominent brands (Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Auburn).