The Notre Dame Athletic Department and Under Armour today announced their new partnership at a press conference on the school’s Indiana campus. Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank joined University Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick to formally introduce the alliance of one of the country’s most distinguished collegiate athletic programs and the global leader in performance footwear and apparel.
The Notre Dame athletic department signed a 10-year contract with Adidas that will expire at the end of the current school year. Rumors that the school was shopping for a potentially new provider emerged in December and athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he expected to come to a decision in January.
As part of the 10-year agreement, Under Armour will exclusively design and supply the footwear, apparel and equipment for training and game-day uniforms for each of the university’s men’s and women’s varsity athletics teams.
The financials of the deal remain unknown, but in the official press release Swarbrick calls the deal “the largest financial commitment ever made by a brand to a university.” Up to this point, Adidas’ $8.2 million annual cash and equipment deal with the University of Michigan, signed in 2008, was the biggest ever. So it’s safe to assume that the deal will approach close to $100 million. Notre Dame also has the option to take annual payment from Under Armour in the form of stock.
The report, was first filed by ESPN reporter Darren Rovell, who said Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank was in South Bend last Thursday to meet with Notre Dame officials. Plank’s company currently has deals with other Div. I athletic departments such as Auburn, Northwestern, Boston College and Maryland, his alma mater.
Additionally, former American Athletic Conference Senior associate commissioner for football and marketing, Nick Carparelli Jr. will now oversee the transition. Carparelli was just named the Senior Director of College Sports at Under Armour, serving as the lead liaison to the more than a dozen athletic departments whose teams wear Under Armour. Carparelli served as the head of football for the Big East and American Athletic Conference for nearly 12 years.
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