UCLA has signed a new six-year apparel deal with Nike and its Jordan Brand, a replacement to its Under Armour contract that is now the subject of a wider legal dispute.
Under the agreement, which takes effect next July, Nike will supply footwear and apparel to all 25 UCLA teams, with football and both men’s and women’s basketball wearing the Jordan Brand. Terms of the deal weren’t announced.
Back in May 2016, UCLA signed a 15-year, $280 million contract with Under Armour, at the time one of the largest apparel deals in NCAA history. Earlier this year, Under Armour informed UCLA of its intent to terminate the deal, and the school later filed a $200 million suit against the Baltimore company citing breach of contract and unfair dealing.
It’s unclear if the Jordan brand deal signals an end to that dispute with Under Armour, whose logo the football team has been covering with a new patch on its jerseys. The lawsuit is currently being tried in Los Angeles Superior Court, with a pretrial hearing scheduled next April, according to court records obtained by Sportico.
The announcement did not reference Under Armour, and representatives for the school and company didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.
“UCLA Athletics is elite, and our student-athletes deserve every resource in their pursuit of excellence,” athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “We sought to work with the best in the world; that is Nike and Jordan Brand.”
Once UCLA makes the move, Nike will be outfitting eight of the 12 schools in the Pac-12. Adidas works with Arizona State and Washington; Under Armour with Cal and Utah. UCLA will also become just the fifth major football team to wear the Jumpman logo, part of Nike’s wider plan to give Jordan Brand a larger presence outside of basketball.
Both college football teams playing today are in contract disputes with @UnderArmour @UCLAFootball is covering up the UA logo. @CalFootball is not #SportsBiz pic.twitter.com/tj19BsSPLg
— Eben Novy-Williams (@novy_williams) November 15, 2020
UCLA’s was not the only apparel contract Under Armour was looking to back out of. The company is also looking to exit its 10-year, $86 million deal with Cal, and Cincinnati recently agreed to a $9.75 million buyout of its deal with the company.
UCLA has one of the more popular, and storied athletic departments in the country. The Bruins have won 118 NCAA team national championships in the past 70 years, spanning 20 different sports. The school says it has the most NCAA titles in men’s volleyball, softball, men’s basketball, women’s water polo and beach volleyball. Its student and coaches have combined to win 261 Olympic medals.
(This story has been updated with details of Under Armour’s agreements with other schools along with the status of its UCLA lawsuit in the fourth paragraph.)
–With assistance from Michael McCann.