Under Armour wants out of $280M deal with UCLA

UCLA said it will fight Under Armour’s announced intention to terminate its record-setting 15-year, $280 million deal with the school.

“We are exploring all our options to resist Under Armour’s actions,” the university said in a statement Saturday. “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.”

The deal was signed in May 2016 and went into effect in July 2017. According to Forbes, it remained the largest apparel deal in college sports as of September 2019.

In a statement issued Saturday, Under Armour said it was within its contractual rights to end the agreement.

“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. The agreement allows us to terminate in such an event and we are exercising that right,” said the statement, which was obtained by ESPN.

UCLA football has not had a winning season since 2016, and the basketball team failed to make the NCAA Tournament in 2019 but would have had a shot for a berth in 2020 following a 19-12 season. The tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under Armour has suffered financially during the pandemic. Wall Street analysts predict a 54 percent decline in sales during the current fiscal quarter compared to the same period last year, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The potential loss of the Under Armour revenue would be another hardship for a UCLA athletic department that already is facing shortfalls following the cancellation of spring sports due to COVID-19.

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