Utah athletic director Mark Harlan says Utes look forward to the future with Under Armour
The outfitter is currently seeking to end multi-million dollar endorsement deals with UCLA and Cal, a pair of Utah’s peers in the Pac-12
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah athletic director Mark Harlan released a statement on the program’s future with apparel and footwear outfitter Under Armour. The company is severing ties with the two other Pac-12 schools — UCLA and California — that it has agreements with contractually.
“We have been a proud partner with Under Armour since 2008 and look forward to the future with them,” Harlan said. “This is a challenging time for all, as we know, but we are tethered as we head into 2020.”
“We have been a proud partner with Under Armour since 2008 and look forward to the future with them. This is a challenging time for all, as we know, but we are tethered as we head into 2020.” — Utah athletic director Mark Harlan
Utah extended its original deal by five years in 2011. An additional 10-year continuation was announced in October 2016, designating Under Armour as the official outfitter of the university’s varsity programs until June 2027. The extension included agreements for grassroots activation and marketing integration, as well as opportunities for student internships and scholarships.
“We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with Under Armour,” former Utah athletic director Chris Hill said at the time. “The relationship has been positive from all angles — first and foremost the many ways it benefits our student-athletes.”
On Tuesday, John Canzano of the Oregonian/Oregon Live reported that Utah is “an unlikely cancellation target” by Under Armour. The Utes are in the midst of a $65 million, 10-year deal that includes nearly $1 million in cash annually and the remainder in apparel.
UCLA, meanwhile, inked a $280 million agreement with Under Armour in 2016 — a record-setting 15-year agreement. The company’s stock has since dropped severely, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Under Armour said in a response to the Los Angeles Times. “The agreement allows us to terminate in such an event and we are exercising that right.”
UCLA athletics director Dan Guerrero offered a response to the newspaper.
“We are exploring all of our options to resist Under Armour’s actions and will share more information as we can,” he said. “We want to reassure you that UCLA athletics remains 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.”
Cal, meanwhile, has been notified that Under Armour intends to break its 10-year, $86 million deal with the school that was signed back in 2016.
“We are confident that we are fulfilling the terms of our agreement and that Under Armour does not have grounds for termination,” Cal officials said in a statement reported by The Mercury News.