Under Armor is terminating its on-field licensing deal with the National Football League, the company said as part of the US sportswear brand’s recent withdrawal from its marketing commitments and a move that is reducing its presence in America’s most popular sport.
The decision effectively prevents accessory products bearing the Under Armor logo from being worn or displayed on the field during play, thereby limiting the advertising impact on individual top athletes such as Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.
It is Under Armor’s latest marketing cut that was switched to last year terminate two equipment contracts with over $ 300 million in college sports programs at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of California at Berkeley.
Sean Eggert, Under Armor’s senior vice president of global sports marketing, said in a statement to the Financial Times: “We are in active discussions with the NFL to identify alternative opportunities that will best serve and best serve athletes in the future guarantee [return on investment] for Under Armor ”.
A company spokeswoman declined to indicate when the NFL contract would expire. A person familiar with the discussions between the league and the company said the contract would end this year and that footballers with individual contracts with Under Armor would reassess their marketing prospects for the new season starting this fall.
The NFL had no immediate comment. Mr. Brady’s representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
The financial value of an on-site licensing agreement is estimated at $ 10 to 15 million per year, according to one person familiar with such agreements. Under Armor had more than $ 679 million in total sponsorship commitments at the end of 2019, according to the latest annual filing.
On-field rights mainly concern accessory products such as gloves and clothing worn by athletes in the NFL Combine, a scouting event for new players.
The sportswear company is in the midst of a multi-year reorganization that preceded the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and its chief executive of just over a year. Patrik Friskhas promised the Baltimore-based brand a more disciplined approach.
In October, Mr. Frisk announced that Under Armor was effective completion The Affiliate Fitness Business, a category that Founder and Former Managing Director Kevin Plank has pledged nearly $ 1 billion to help sell products directly to consumers more effectively.
Last year, Nike acquired the rights to supply Major League Baseball uniforms after Under Armor backed out of a 2016 commitment. Nike is the official uniform supplier for three of America’s top four professional sports leagues – the NFL, MLB and the National Basketball Association – while Adidas supplies the National Hockey League.
Scoreboard is the Financial Times’ new weekly sports briefing where you can find the best analysis of financial problems affecting clubs, franchises, owners, investors and media groups across the global industry. Sign up here.