In the high-stakes battle to outfit the nation’s top college athletic programs, Under Armour scored a major win today. The Baltimore-based company signed a 10-year deal with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a partnership that had been widely anticipated all week.
Under terms of the deal, which begins July 1, 2016, Under Armour will design and supply the shoes and apparel for the university’s 23 men’s and women’s sports teams.
“The University of Wisconsin is an institution built on the highest values of academic excellence,” Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank said in a statement. “We are extremely proud to be teaming up with one of the most vibrant, distinctive and successful athletic programs in the country to help elevate the performance of all Badgers with innovative footwear and apparel.”
Adidas had previously sponsored the university’s athletic teams.
Wisconsin joins other major universities — such as Texas A&M, the University of Miami, the University of Florida and Arizona State University, to name a few — that have opted for larger, more lucrative agreements with athletic brands in recent months.
Such deals are sought after by athletic companies due to the high brand visibility gained during televised games, as well the immediate access to young, label-loyal fans they deliver.
“Kevin Plank and his team have established a brand that fits perfectly with the Wisconsin athletics story and culture,” Wisconsin Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez said in the joint statement. “Our primary focus at Wisconsin is, of course, our student-athletes, and Under Armour’s passion and commitment to high quality and innovation will benefit our student-athletes for years to come.”