Under Armour reportedly has inked a 15-year, $280 million sponsorship contract with one of the most iconic college sports programs in the country -- UCLA. According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, UCLA will receive $15 million in cash up front and will subsequently be paid approximately $11 million annually in rights and marketing fees.
Under Armour has agreed to supply roughly $7.4 million worth of clothing, shoes and equipment each school year and contribute an additional $2 million over the next eight years for upgrades at facilities such as the Morgan Center and the Acosta Athletic Complex.
Under Armour previously signed a 10-year sponsorship extension with the University of Maryland, which is where founder Kevin Plank went to school.
The deal is reportedly the most lucrative in the history of college sports. Nike set off a spending frenzy for college sponsorship deals last summer. First was a deal with Michigan at a then-record $169 million, followed by Texas at $250 million and finally Ohio State at $252 million.
But splashy college deals isn't the only area where Under Armour has been able to grab headlines from Nike of late.
Try basketball sneakers, which have long been dominated by Nike and its various high-profile endorsers such as Michael Jordan, Lebron James and Kobe Bryant. That is, until Nike ran into the juggernaut that is Golden State Warriors two-time MVP Stephen Curry over the past six months.
Sales of basketball sneakers at Foot Locker(FL) - Get Report fell by a mid-single digit percentage during the first quarter. Despite strong interest in Under Armour's Stephen Curry basketball sneakers, Nike's LeBron and Kevin Durant lines "proved the most challenging" said Foot Locker. The company's chief Richard Johnson said Nike was starting to "reset the price relationship" on its signature basketball sneakers. In other words, Nike may be lowering some prices on LeBron and Durant styles in order to spur sales. For example, Nike's new KD 9 marketed by Kevin Durant will launch June 20 for $150 compared to the KD 8 that sold for $180.
On the other hand, Under Armour's prices for Curry sneakers have continued to trend higher.
Or how about the wearable technology market?
Under Armour introduced its Healthbox at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. The cool-looking red box contains a suite of devices that track statistics important to workout enthusiasts such as steps, weight and sleep. It went on sale in February. Under Armour said Healthbox was its second best-selling item on its website behind the Curry Two in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Nike continues to eschew the wearables market after it stopped producing its popular Fuelband step tracker in April 2014. The sneaker giant unveiled an overhauled Nike+ app at its annual Nike Innovation Summit event held in March.
The app is set to launch in June, and seeks to be a one-stop shop for athletes and fitness fans, offering information on new product releases and news on athletes in Nike gear. There will also be a news feed that provides curated stories and workout tips from coaches and trainers. One-on-one appointments could also be made with associates at nearby Nike stores.