Under Armour trying to terminate apparel deal with UCLA
UCLA’s record $280 million apparel deal with Under Armour may be in peril.
Under Armour informed UCLA that it is attempting to terminate the deal, which was signed just four years ago, according to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times. UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero has pledged to resist Under Armour’s actions” by any means possible.
Under Armour has informed UCLA that it is attempting to terminate its record $280-million apparel deal with the school. In an email to UCLA constituents, athletic director Dan Guerrero wrote "We are exploring all of our options to resist Under Armour's actions."
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) June 27, 2020
The reasons for this likely stem from Under Armour’s financial issues. Even before the pandemic, the company had an underwhelming 2019 as its accounting practices were being investigated and younger customers were not flocking to the brand. The pandemic has only made those issues more severe. 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 has a lot of incentive to fight this. The Under Armour deal remains the most lucrative apparel deal in all of college sports. The athletic department already suffered an $18.9 million shortfall in 2019 even before the pandemic took hold, and that number is likely to get even worse in 2020. Losing the Under Armour money would be a huge blow to the department.
Under Armour still has high-profile athletes on its payroll, and those athletes have proven to be very loyal to the brand. Ultimately, it isn’t translating to financial health for Under Armour, and UCLA could suffer accordingly.