(Reuters) – Sportswear maker Under Armor said Saturday it will suspend its partnership with UCLA, a 15-year, $ 280 million deal announced in 2016 that was billed as the largest apparel deal in the history of American college sports. .
The University of California, Los Angeles has promised to fight the movement.
The Baltimore-based company said in an emailed statement that it made the decision to terminate the agreement with UCLA, a member of the Pac-12 athletics conference, because “we have been paying for marketing benefits that we have not received for a extended period period of time. “
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The UCLA deal allowed the company to terminate the deal in such a case and is exercising its right, Under Armor added.
“We are exploring all of our options to resist Under Armor’s actions,” UCLA said in a statement. “We remain committed to providing our hardworking staff and student athletes with the footwear, apparel and equipment necessary to train and compete at the highest level.”
Under Armor has competed with other leading apparel manufacturers for agreements with major intercollegiate sports programs.
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In May 2016, the company hailed the agreement, which went into effect in 2017, as “the largest apparel agreement in the history of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), reaffirming UCLA’s status as a world-class institution and Under Armor’s position as a world leader committed to college athletics. “
Under Armor also has clothing deals with schools like Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Auburn, Texas Tech and Utah, according to its website.
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Company officials could not immediately be contacted to comment on whether it would seek to end similar deals with other universities.
The top pairs that also have clothing deals with schools include Nike and Adidas. Representatives of those two companies were not immediately available for comment outside normal business hours.
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As part of the partnership, Under Armor was to have exclusively designed and supplied the game day footwear, apparel and training gear and uniforms for all UCLA men’s and women’s college sports teams, the company said.
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(Report by Juby Babu and Ann Maria Shibu in Bangalore; Edition by Diane Craft, Will Dunham, and Daniel Wallis)