With contract set to expire, Under Armour nearing 12-year extension with Maryland

With the current deal set to expire at the end of the month, the University of Maryland is nearing a 12-year extension with Under Armour through June 30, 2036 in a “contract that will provide $98 million to the University,” per a Board of Regents meeting agenda. Maryland’s partnership with Under Armour began in 2008 before the university announced a ten-year, $34 million extension in 2014.

The agenda also noted that the proposed extension “enhances the revenue streams to UMCP by more than 50% and comes with additional benefit to UMCP in the form of supplemental sponsorship with UMCP Intercollegiate Athletics’ multimedia rights partner, a brand ambassador program for student athletes, and enhanced core team performance bonuses.”

The decision comes as Kevin Plank, a former Maryland football walk-on, returns to the company in his second stint as CEO though he’ll look to right the ship. With its stock down 88% from its all-time high in 2015, Under Armour announced a 10% drop in North America sales in its most recent quarter with an updated forecast calling for a 15-to-17% drop in sales for its current fiscal year as layoffs loom ahead of Plank’s attempted reset.

But for Maryland, it’s a chance to stand behind the man and company who has routinely supported the athletic department through its big projects over the last decade. Specifically, Plank donated $25 million for the renovation of Cole Field House into Jones-Hill House back in 2019.

“Under Armour and Kevin Plank have been valued partners with Maryland Athletics for over fifteen years,” athletic director Damon Evans said at the time. “They have been unwavering supporters and champions of our program and our student athletes and we are proud to count Kevin and Under Armour as part of our family.”

Maryland narrowed its focus on an extension with Under Armour after “it was determined by the University that conducting a competitive procurement would not be advantageous, and extending the current agreement with Under Armour is deemed to be in its best interest,” per the meeting agenda. Maryland now remains one of six Power Four schools sponsored by Under Armour.

“The Under Armour-Maryland Athletics relationship extends far beyond the terms of any agreement. For nearly 25 years, Under Armour has supported the University with internships, experiential learning, exclusive tours, and numerous other benefits. The contract extension enhances these attributes of the relationship.”

More via the Board of Regents Agenda:

Engaging in a competitive solicitation process at this time has been deemed impractical for several reasons. First, time constraints pose a significant limitation, compounded by the considerable costs associated with transitioning to a new prime supplier. Such a change would inevitably lead to substantial disruptions across the institution, necessitating the replacement of equipment, rebranding efforts, and comprehensive staff training across all UMCP venues. In light of these factors, pursuing a contract extension presents the most favorable option for the University, allowing for increased revenue generation and alignment with key institutional objectives.

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