If you want to outfit Notre Dame, one of the most iconic college athletic programs in the country, you're going to have to fork up some serious dough.
Under Armour did just that in signing the Fighting Irish to the most lucrative shoe and apparel contract in college sports history.
ESPN's Darren Rovell reports that the value of the new deal, which kicks in during the 2014-2015 athletic season, is worth about $90 million over 10 years. That's about $8 million more than Michigan's deal with adidas.
Founded by Kevin Plank in 1996, Under Armour's projected sales for 2013 were upwards of $2 billion.
"We love the company we are partnering with, and we can't wait to grow with them," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said. "We don't believe we're partnering with a $2 billion company. We're partnering with a $20 billion company."
The deal could actually be more (or less) lucrative for Notre Dame, as it apparently includes stock options for the Fighting Irish. This means the contract could be risky for the university, but with the way things are going for Under Armour, it seems like a safe bet.
From Under Armour's standpoint, the deal shows it has left also-ran status and is competing with companies like Nike and adidas on a national stage. Notre Dame is the 13th school to sign with Under Armour and perhaps the one with the largest and most widespread fan base.
"This spreads their footprint further," Rick Burton, a sports marketing professor at Syracuse, told the Associated Press. "With Notre Dame being such an emblematic university with such a national fan base, I think this fully signals that Under Armour is in the game. That they're a big-time player in terms of going after attractive university contracts."
By signing with Under Armour, Notre Dame is ending its 17-year partnership with adidas.
Below are some images of Notre Dame's new look:
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 21, 2014
— Bobby Height (@BobbyHeight) January 21, 2014
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