Misty Copeland and Under Armour have parted ways.
“We’ve watched her career take off and witnessed what an inspiration she is as a world-class athlete, setting an example for women — and all athletes — around the world striving to achieve their goals,” Under Armour said in an email statement. “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished together during our partnership, and incredibly grateful to Misty for helping us evolve beyond traditional sports and into new arenas. We wish Misty the very best and look forward to seeing what else she will accomplish, both professionally and personally.”
Also in the statement, Under Armour confirmed that Copeland was a partner of the brand from 2014 to 2019. (Baltimore Business Journal first reported the news of Copeland’s departure.)
Copeland played an integral role in several Under Armour initiatives during her time with the brand. For example, the company revealed the ballerina’s signature apparel line in May 2018, a collection that “was created with versatility in mind without compromising performance.” And in July 2017, she was one of several ambassadors featured in Under Armour’s “Unlike Any” campaign, which celebrated the achievements of women athletes without considering gender comparisons.
Although her time with Under Armour was largely positive, it was not without friction.
In February 2017, the athlete criticized then-CEO Kevin Plank’s comments made during a CNBC appearance about President Donald Trump, where he stated having a “pro-business president is something that is a real asset.”
“I strongly disagree with Kevin Plank’s recent comments in support of Trump as recently reported. Those of you who have supported and followed my career know that the one topic I’ve never backed away from speaking openly about is the importance of diversity and inclusion. It is imperative to me that my partners and sponsors share this belief,” Copeland said at the time via Instagram.
Copeland’s departure is the latest of a string of deals the Baltimore-based athletic label has ended.
For instance, the company announced it was ending its on-field licensing contract with the NFL in February, which allowed for its sponsored players to wear accessories featuring the brand’s logo during games. And in December 2020, Under Armour completed the sale of MyFitnessPal to Francisco Partners for $345 million. (Under Armour acquired MyFitnessPal in February 2015 for $475 million.)
However, the most notable deal Under Armour axed last year was its $280 million, 15-year contract with UCLA, which it signed in 2016. (In December, Nike and Jordan Brand announced that it had signed a six-year deal with UCLA.)