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Notre Dame Says Under Armour Deal Is Biggest in College History

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The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish leprechaun mascot carries the school flag onto the field before the game at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. Photographer: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The University of Notre Dame said the 10-year apparel contract it signed with Under Armour Inc. is the largest in the history of college sports.

The South Bend, Indiana-based school didn’t provide financial details for the agreement, which includes an equity option for Notre Dame. The deal is worth $90 million, more than the $82 million that Adidas AG agreed to pay the University of Michigan over 10 years, ESPN said, citing unidentified people familiar with the terms.

“This represents the largest financial commitment ever made by a brand to a university,” Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said in a news release yesterday. “It will provide the critical resources we need to enable our student-athletes to compete at the highest levels.”

Under Armour will supply footwear, apparel and uniforms for all 26 Fighting Irish varsity programs. That includes the football team, which has produced seven Heisman Trophy winners and claims 11 national championships, and the defending national champion men’s soccer team.

“We look forward to collaborating with the university’s administration, athletic department, student-athletes, alumni and its powerful fan base to uphold the Fighting Irish’s championship pedigree,” Under Armour founder and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank said in the release.

Bigger Competitors

Swarbrick didn’t provide details on the equity option in the contract. Under Armour shares yesterday rose 3.4 percent to $84.78, valuing the Baltimore-based company at $8.96 billion, less than Nike Inc. ($65.3 billion) and Adidas ($26 billion).

Under Armor plans to use Notre Dame in global marketing campaigns and social media initiatives, according to the release.

Notre Dame has been sponsored by Adidas for the past 17 years. The Fighting Irish football team, which lost to Alabama in the national title game following the 2012 season, competes as an independent. Most other Notre Dame teams began play in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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