In May of 2016, UCLA and Under Armour signed a record-setting apparel deal that was good for $280 million. The Bruins had previously been with Adidas, and prior to the new agreement, Nike had held the three largest deals which included Ohio State, Texas, and Michigan.
The agreement was set to last 15 years, but the most valuable college sports apparel deal could now be coming to an end.
Under Armour has informed UCLA that it is attempting to terminate its record $280-million apparel deal with the school. In an email to UCLA constituents, athletic director Dan Guerrero wrote "We are exploring all of our options to resist Under Armour's actions."— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) June 27, 2020
UCLA made headlines back in 2018 when several of its athletes elected to ditch the apparel despite the lucrative agreement. Members of the school's track-and-field team reported questionable conditions that led to them switching to a different shoe.
"Within the first few weeks, the bottoms of my shoes were starting to peel off and the outsides were starting to fray," sophomore jumper and sprinter Isaiah Holmes told The Daily Bruin.
"You'll see a lot of the team wearing all the other Under Armour gear, but then you'll be seeing every other brand of shoes because we're just trying to find what works best for our feet," Gustafson, a senior heptathlete, told The Daily Bruin. "Under Armour is not traditionally a track-shoe company." Via
As of September of 2019, the five most costly apparel deals belonged to UCLA (Under Armour), Louisville (Adidas), Texas (Nike), Kansas (Adidas), and Michigan (Nike/Jordan). Ohio State's deal with Nike runs from 2018 through 2033 and was No. 8 on the list.
This would be a blow to a UCLA program that recently reported a whopping $19-million deficit for the 2019 fiscal year. It was especially troubling since the Bruins previously hadn't been in the red since 2004 when the deficit was a mere $164,000.
Athletic director Dan Guerrero is set to retire in July after over 17 years in the position. Former Ohio State deputy athletic director Martin Jarmond is set to take over the Bruins' program, and it's certainly looking like he's going to have plenty on his plate when things get underway next month.