Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Under Armour: Making Big Moves

Under Armour has been clawing its way into the sporting goods industry for almost two decades now. They may finally be making moves that will solidify their well built brand. The big news of late was the historic signing of Notre Dame within the past week. Signing Notre Dame is the equivalent of getting to check mate in chess. Notre Dame football is big business. They are the second most valuable college football team in the country behind the University of Texas. In a Forbes article written by Monte Burke, University Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said that “the largest financial commitment ever made by a brand to a university.”. In 2008 the University of Michigan signed an $8.2 million annual cash and equipment deal which was the largest ever. This deal could very well be upwards of $100 million total. You can read more about this major deal in Alexa Fontanella’s article for The Sports Complex.

The newest and physically biggest deal Under Armour has pulled together will be a 12,000 square foot marketing device of some sort in Grand Central Terminal for Super Bowl XLVIII. There has been no specific details leaked about what this marketing spectacle will exactly be, but Under Armour is letting people know that it will be really big. This spectacle will be available to view on Super Bowl weekend from Thursday to Sunday.

Finally, a move that was less talked about, but was a huge step for Under Armour was the fall signing of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). Most people will read this and not even know that the NLL is. It’s ok, most people don’t. As far as professional lacrosse goes in the United States their are two major leagues. First is the NLL which is the indoor, or in lacrosse terms “box” lacrosse league. Box lacrosse is very popular in Canada. Second is the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) which is you standard outdoor field lacrosse. 

Moving back to the initial subject now, Under Armour signed a three year deal with the NLL in the fall of 2013 to become the league’s official apparel, footwear and equipment provider. Even though the NLL isn’t the most well known professional sports, signing an exclusive deal with a professional sports league is a huge step for Under Armour. 

Being from Maryland, Under Armour and lacrosse just make sense together. Maryland is a hotbed in lacrosse like Florida is for football. For years Under Armour has been the exclusive provider for the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland has won many national championships and seen plenty of college tournament time while being associated with Under Armour it only makes sense to begin tying the Under Armour name to professional sports championships as well.

Zachary Cintron is a pre-junior in Drexel's Sport Management program with a minor in Music Theory and Composition.  Zach also writes for his personal blog, Sports and Music Weekly. You can follow Zach on Twitter at @cintronz.

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Zachary Cintron on LinkedIn.

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