Nike Inc. has a new university partner.
Today, Nike and Jordan Brand announced a six-year deal with the University of California, Los Angeles. Starting July 1, 2021, the company will become the school’s athletic footwear and apparel provider, with the agreement extending to all 25 of UCLA’s varsity sports teams.
“UCLA is elite, and our student-athletes deserve every resource in their pursuit of excellence. We sought to partner with the best in the world — that is Nike and Jordan Brand,” UCLA Director of Athletics Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “Going into this process, our top priority was to secure the best quality and most innovative product to help our student-athletes and coaches compete for championships.”
Nike will supply the school’s teams with uniforms, as well as shoes, clothing and equipment. Men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes, as well as those in the football program, will be outfitted by Jordan Brand. (With the partnership, UCLA will become the fifth school in the country to partner with Jordan Brand on football.)
“UCLA has a rich tradition of excellence on the court and field, as well as in the classroom,” Jordan Brand president Craig Williams said in a statement. “Like Nike and Jordan Brand, the Bruins have a championship mindset, and their impact is felt both in sport and within the community.”
According to the joint statement, officially licensed UCLA x Nike and Jordan Brand gear will hit stores next fall.
Up until this year, UCLA was tied to Under Armour. In 2016, the school and the Baltimore-based brand inked a $280 million deal — which at the time was the biggest footwear and apparel sponsorship in college sports history.
However, in late June, Under Armour informed UCLA of its desire to end their record-breaking 15-year contract by invoking the force majeure clause as the COVID-19 health crisis swept the United States and subsequently put a pause to college sports. Two months later, UCLA filed a lawsuit against Under Armour, alleging that the company failed to pay up as scheduled or deliver product as promised. It also claimed that the coronavirus crisis was not the reason behind Under Armour’s decision to exit the partnership; rather, UCLA alleges it was the brand’s financial standing. The current status of the litigation is unclear although recent reports have indicated that UA will continue to outfit UCLA’s varsity teams for the next few months.