Under Armour renews with Texas Tech but looks to end UCLA deal
Under Armour, the US sportswear brand, has extended its apparel deal with Texas Tech University until 2024.
As part of the four-year renewal, the company will remain the official outfitter of the Texas Red Raiders American football team, prolongs a partnership which began over a decade ago.
Under Armour will also continue to design and supply the footwear, apparel and equipment for training and game day uniforms for each of Texas Tech's men's and women's athletic programmes.
The partnership also includes integration into the brand's marketing, social media, in-store and grassroots activations.
Under Armour became the exclusive outfitter for Texas Tech Athletics in 2009, becoming the first department-wide apparel provider in school history. The brand began its relationship with Texas Tech Athletics in 2006 as the official outfitter of the Red Raiders programme.
Brian Cummings, vice-president of North America sports marketing at Under Armour, said: "Texas Tech has been part of the Under Armour family since 2006 and over that span we have had a number of athletic and academic wins together. Our goal is to continue to give the Red Raiders' student-athletes a competitive edge with performance innovations."
However, Under Armour is looking to withdraw from its $280 million kit supply deal with the University of California in part to offset financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The 15-year deal, then the biggest in US collegiate sports history, came into effect in 2017 but the brand told the Los Angeles Times it intends to end the agreement claiming it had not received unspecified marketing benefits from UCLA which it paid for over “an extended period.”
According to Under Armour, the contract contains a stipulation which allows for such a move.
In a statement, the UCLA Bruins athletics department said it intends to fight the sportswear brand’s claim and will “explore all options.”
Under Armour’s deal covers apparel and footwear for UCLA’s teams in various sports overseen by the NCAA, including American football and basketball.
The brand recently announced it suffered a 23 per cent drop in revenue for the first quarter of 2020 and is anticipating a further decrease of up to 60 per cent in the second quarter due the impact of the pandemic.
It posted revenue of $930 million in the quarter to 31 March, down from $1.2 billion in the same period in 2019.
Last month, Under Armour issued $400 million in bonds, maturing in 2024, in an effort to bolster liquidity during the global health emergency.