As a lifelong Notre Dame football fan, a Smith student, and a Baltimore native, I got to see my worlds collide earlier this month when it was announced that Under Armour had signed a deal with Notre Dame to provide the school’s athletic apparel for the next 10 years. The deal is reportedly “the largest financial commitment ever made by a brand to a university,” marking a huge milestone for the company founded by Smith alum Kevin Plank.
As Under Armour’s first contract with a university ranking in the top ten in merchandise sales, the deal solidifies Under Armour’s place among the giants of American athletic apparel with Nike and Adidas. And it’s especially impressive that the relatively new brand was able to break through with one of the country’s most traditional and historic programs. While I don’t know how supportive the Notre Dame fan base would be of uniforms like these, I can’t wait to see what the partnership has in store for the new-look Irish.
In addition to the Notre Dame announcement, Under Armour also released its 2014 fourth quarter numbers this week, which brought more good news for the company. Reporting higher than projected revenues, Under Armour saw it’s share price jump up 22% yesterday, its second-biggest single day rise in company history. While it’s global development potential remains a bit of an unknown, there’s no arguing the company’s bright future domestically as this month’s events confirmed.
It’s an exciting time for Maryland as one of its signature companies continues its rise. But the big question is: do they make green suits?