College athletes still might not be getting paid, but players at UCLA will at least be able to enjoy one perk going forward – free gear from Under Armour.
The Baltimore-based athletic apparel and footwear company announced this week it has signed an exclusive 15-year performance footwear and apparel deal with The University of California, Los Angeles. The deal, worth a reported $280 million, is the largest such sponsorship in college athletics history, topping Nike’s 15-year, $252 million dollar Ohio State sponsorship.
The deal, which commences on July 1, will outfit exclusively designed Under Armour game-day outfits to all 25 of the university’s men’s and women’s varsity athletic teams. UCLA is Under Armour’s 35th Division I all-school partnership and third in the Pac-12 Conference, joining the recently announced University of California, Berkeley and the University of Utah.
“UCLA has always been about challenging the status quo and breaking through barriers,” said UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero. “Under Armour shares those core values. They are about more than simply making athletes look good, they constantly pursue innovation in order to make athletes better.”
Under Armour says the deal is a major part of expanding its west coast imprint, which will also include the opening of new retail locations in the greater Los Angeles area, including L.A.’s Westside neighborhood.
Kevin Plank, founder and CEO of Under Armour, said in a statement, “Under Armour’s commitment to growth through innovation and an unwavering mission to make all athletes better aligns seamlessly with UCLA and the pioneering figures that helped build the program, and we look forward to reaching new heights with the Bruins.”