Friday, October 23

Under Armour seeks to end record-breaking sponsorship deal with UCLA

After just three years of their 15-year contract, Under Armour is attempting to terminate its deal with UCLA Athletics. (Amy Dixon/Daily Bruin senior staff)

This post was updated June 27 at 12:50 p.m.

Already facing a $19 million budget deficit, the Bruins could be staring at more trouble. 

Under Armour is attempting to leave its record-breaking 15-year, $280 million deal as the supplier of UCLA Athletics’ apparel just as the two sides enter their fourth year together. 

The news was first reported by Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch and later confirmed by UCLA Athletics.

In an emailed statement, UCLA Athletics said the contract would not be ended so easily.

“UCLA Athletics learned this week that Under Armour is attempting to terminate its 15-year apparel and footwear contract with us and the Bruin community,” the statement read. “We are exploring all our options to resist Under Armour’s actions. We remain 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, as they – and our loyal Bruin fans – deserve.” 

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 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. We know that this has been a challenging time for athletes, sports programs and performance apparel brands alike. UA will continue to preserve our strength in this challenging environment while maintaining a strong network of partnerships with individuals, organizations and leagues that make us the on-field authority for focused performers.”

Under Armour and UCLA agreed to the deal May 24, 2016, going into effect July 2017. It remains the largest sponsorship contract in all of college athletics and was expected to run until 2032.

Now the Bruins may be searching for their next partner earlier than expected.

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