OT: Under Armour Looking to Break Deal with UCLA

"Under Armour has recently made the difficult decision to discontinue our partnership with UCLA, as we have been paying for marketing benefits that we have not received for an extended time period," the company said in a statement Saturday. "The agreement allows us to terminate in such an event and we are exercising that right."

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I guess our Nike deal could be worse. EDIT: Actually, it still sucks.

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I guess our Nike deal could be worse.

Mmmmwell, considering just the first 3 years of UCLA's deal benefitted them to the tune of roughly $56M, and VT's 8-year Nike deal is worth a total of $16M...

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

For all the shit I gave the Georgia Tech/Russell Athletics deal, they still received more annually than we currently do from our Nike deal. That is unacceptable.

Guess forking out one of the biggest apparel deals of all time to a school that's second fiddle in its own city and hasn't been relevant in a major sport in over a decade wasn't working out for them.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Jordan Zumwalt says hello

Jordan Zumwalt can go fuck himself. He's still a douche as an adult.

Yup. Still get bitter when I see him mentioned.

Maybe we could opt out and take their deal? Would be nice...

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

KCCO

I think that it Under Armour bought us out of our Nike contract as a part of the money they gave to UCLA and we got the rest, we'd still be better off.

Marshall University graduate.
Virginia Tech fanatic.
Formerly known as JWillHokieAlum.

It was only a matter of time. I don't think I've seen an under armour commercial in a long time.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

May be going the way of starter. A few years ago, every kid in youth sports had to have under armour everything. I thought that popularity would carry the company into the future. But, I wonder if the craziness of pop culture presents an odd problem where if everybody has your merchandise, you are no longer special or cool. No idea, but it is a strange situation.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

UA was a big Maryland thing, took off when I was in high school at the time. But they made some brash decisions with expansion, that took a little under a decade to manifest. Namely, they grew too big, too fast, and didn't have the experience to handle it.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

It's only when the tide goes out that you learn who's been swimming naked.

Living near UA HQ, I haven't noticed a decline. But what do I know?

UA was a big Maryland thing

This is their biggest problem

You will see this game, this upset and this sign next on ESPN Sportscenter. Virginia Tech 31 Miami 7

A few years ago? UA hasn't been (broadly) cool with kids since I was in middle school. As soon as Nike copied their heatgear/coldgear stuff people went right back to Nike which had always been the most popular brand with kids in my lifetime. They are comfortably behind Nike and Adidas as far as what sport apparel brands are culturally relevant. It's had small resurgences in culture by snagging deals with Cam and Steph for cleats/b-ball shoes, but overall they are still way behind.

UA carved out a niche with hunting gear, and the people who swore off buying Nike products after the Kap commercial. That's been their base in recent years. Maybe it's more popular in Maryland because that's the origin location, but I can tell you confidently it's way behind Nike and Adidas as far as being connected to young culture.

I can only speak to my small circle. It has cooled off but a few years ago every kid in youth football, baseball, and basketball seemed to be cloaked in UA. Football seemed to be the biggest with cleats, mouth pieces, arm bands, under padding, etc. I think Dick's stocking up on a ton of UA for youth sports played a big role.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

No doubt, and it can vary from area to area. Like I mentioned above, there were resurgent spikes with Cam's/Steph shoe deal. They def give out a lot of gear too, but still in a more broad cultural and popularity sense they are well behind Nike and Adidas and have been for a long time.

as far as their hunting gear goes, there stuff is extremely comfortable and pretty good quality IMO. there boots arent the best but still are a pretty solid product.

And I can tell you from coaching soccer games all thru the winter, I'll take UA stuff over Nike for warm underlayers every day of the week. Including socks and gloves.

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank


"Under Armour has recently made the difficult decision to discontinue our partnership with UCLA, as we have been paying for marketing benefits that we have not received for an extended time period," the company said in a statement Saturday. "The agreement allows us to terminate in such an event and we are exercising that right."

I mean, who could blame them?

They paid too much to begin with. If they have a way out, they can certainly use that money for something else. Like solvency.

To this day, my Under Armor cleats have held up WAYYY better than Nike's in the same price point. Personally would be extremely disappointed to have to go back to Nike in the future.

Tried Nike running shoes once. Man they sucked. Felt like I was running in cleats. That is fine in football or soccer I guess, but not in 5K to marathon runs. They also fell apart much faster than my Asics. Concluded that Nike was probably a lot more hype than substance and to stick with Asics.

Recovering scientist working in business consulting

I have the Nike Pegasus 36 and no complaints here.

It's Time to go to Work

Might I also suggest Inov8 running shoes. I got into them using their barefoot running shoes, but have gone to regular road running shoes as I've aged and started falling apart. They are the only shoes I've found that I can stand in/walk around in comfortably for any length of time.

I have a pair of their super light hiking boots. They actually promote them as trail runners with some ankle support. I used them when I did Kilimanjaro last year and they were a dream. Comfortable for 10 hours of hiking, waterproof with Gore-Tex, and somehow still breathable. And I could honestly trail run with them because they are so light.

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

There goes my pipe dream of UA coming in and saving us at the end of this Nike contract. I actually wouldn't mind being a UA team.

At this point, I'd be worried as a UA team. If they can't honor their highest profile contract, then its only a matter of time before they start cutting the others.

None of this excuses our absolute joke of a contract. It still pisses me off that we signed that and that Whit rubber stamped the extension right after he took over. Outside of the pathetic Raycom tv deal that Swoffy screwed us with, this one contract probably set us back the most from 2010 on.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

Kids... word of advice... when an apparel company wants to extend your deal for 10 years with no escalation money at precisely the time these deals were taking off, DONT SIGN IT.. even if you are a new AD, and certainly don't let some assistant sign it. Whit made a mistake- no 2 bones about it. Buzz Williams said he absolutely would not coach without Nike... until he went to an Adidas school. Whit made a hugh gaff on our deal- which is the worst in the P5.Β Β 

I recall reading something that tried to justify Whit's line of thinking that he did not want to step on Weaver's toes so early on in his tenure by smashing the Nike deal. Doesn't excuse that it was a pretty terrible decision. Whit is a good AD, but sometimes I think about just how bad this Nike deal, and Fuente's lopsided extension, were and what that has meant for the financial stability of the program, and the limitations for staff expansion, compensation and recruiting.

I recall reading something that tried to justify Whit's line of thinking that he did not want to step on Weaver's toes so early on in his tenure by smashing the Nike deal.

I've heard that, too. All I can say is that Weaver's feelings were not worth the future financial well being and stability of our entire program, and if that was the real reason, this was done, our entire department was in a pretty sorry ass shape when Whit took over. Lets be honest, its not like Whit cleaned house when he first got here, and he's not a dumb AD. I'm going to guess he was very much met with a "this is how we do things here at VT" his first few weeks on the job and the Nike deal that was already agreed upon was not going to change without a lot of backlash in Merryman. Weaver was liked by all in there, and undoing his last contract was probably not something that would have flown in Blacksburg.

King Alum of the House Hokie, the First of His Name, Khal of the Turkey Legs, The rightful Heir to the Big Board, the Unbanned, Breaker of Trolls and Father of Gritty

I don't think it was necessarily Weaver's feelings that Whit was worried about -- I think it has more to do it being bad taste re-negotiating a deal that was pretty much already agreed to.

Personally, if a client of mine did that to me, it would definitely sour my relationship with them.

However -- whoever on the Nike side worked on this deal had to have known that they were getting strong value from this contract from VT. It may not be much of a stretch to think that they would have sweetened it just simply by Whit making a case. Again, this is without knowing what kind of discussions Weaver had with Nike. I do believe that Weaver always tried his best when it came to the best interests of VT though.

Edit -- removed "lopsided". Thinking about it further, it could be debatable, but what is certain is that the value of the contract for VT is lower than it should be.

It had much more to do with Lil Ole VT not being able to survive without the "swoosh" and the cache that goes with that- whatever that means. Whit has said there is value being with the Nike brand beyond "money/apparel" - cool, give me UA or Adidas money- 4x our deal or so, and I think we will be ok without the fake cache.

I agree, that Nike deal is absolute garbage. I'm shocked we aren't trying to shop around and perhaps have a new sponsor buy us out. The list of adidas schools has been steadily growing, and I'm sure they could design a modern but clean look for our uniforms. I just don't buy the Nike brand schtick. Maybe in basketball, but not in football.

A lot of the people saying we have to stick with Nike because Adidas isn't a "big time brand" are the ones who also quickly point out VT isn't on the same level with the elite of college football. I'm all for the most money we can get out of the apparel deal. We go with someone else for a while, rake in the extra cash, and maybe Nike changes their tune several years down the road and makes us a better, more competitive offer.

There is value to being a Nike school. That isn't "fake cache," even if you can't see it. However, there is a lot of room to debate that the money of a better apparel deal would outweigh it. Which I think the majority of the fanbase acknowledges that's probably a fair trade-off given the small money Nike deal we have.

A perfect world would involve getting a new Nike deal that is worth a lot more money. However, this isn't a one way street. The brand has to want to be worn on VT jerseys in order for them to give us a bigger money deal. That rings true for any brand who could sponsor our apparel.

I agree, there definitely is a certain "prestige" or allure of being a Nike school. As a millennial, it definitely resonates with me.

But -- everybody does have a price and if the opportunity arises, VT will have to determine what their financial threshold is when considering another brand. Is a 30% increase from Adidas worth it? I don't know. All I know is that for me personally, I'd be less excited about VT apparel than I would be if it were Nike.

Agree Nike has a certain appeal. But is it worth it considering how awful our deal is and the quality we have gotten from them lately? Our current football uniform is just weird looking. We are basically an afterthought for Nike and it shows. I think a brand like Adidas could pull off something very nice for us and with more cash to boot. That outweighs any perceived value the swoosh is bringing us right now to me.

I'd happily take Adidas if they wanted to give us a much better $ deal. Nike is my favorite, but I have plenty of respect for Adidas, and plenty of Adidas apparel from my Real Madrid/Atlanta United fandom.

The point I'm making is more from Adidas' end. Do we know they even want to offer us a much bigger deal? Do we know how much they value VT as a brand?

I think a lot of times when this gets discussed on VT forums (I'm not saying you're doing this) that the vibe is assuming that we have all these big offers on the table and chose the shitty Nike one anyway.

I'm not arguing we couldn't have gotten a better deal if we tried. I believe we have enough clout and bargaining power to get a better one. However, I think VT fans might be the least objective evaluators of how much more valuable the deal we should have really is. I just don't see any proof that Adidas or UA were blowing up our phones trying to 10x or 15x our annual deal.

VT has a major market in the mid-Atlantic/DC region, and VT is the only D1 school with our particular school colors which I think would lend to a lot of creativity in design. VT isn't a blue blood but is a known commodity and name in college sports, and Adidas is slowly trying to gain a greater market share in college sports. Having added name programs like Miami, Nebraska, TAMU, and Louisville gives me confidence that they would probably lunge at the opportunity to get a school like VT and another P5 team. I'm not saying they would back up the Brinks truck for us, but I would imagine they would be a lot more competitive than what Nike is giving us now.

assuming that we have all these big offers on the table

Even worse if UA is beginning to pop the bubble. If Nike has one fewer competitor, they have less incentive to make big offers.

Those two schools are suddenly on the market after UA dropped them. I don't see them having enough leverage to avoid a major haircut when negotiating with Nike, Adidas, Russell, or Champion. (Anyone else? Starter?) Those replacement deals will reset the market somewhat, and not in a good way for VT.

VT athletics has not done much since the last deal was signed to warrant Nike coming back with an offer that is towards the top of their market. I won't hold my breath for Nike to give Tech much of a competitive offer once negotiations reopen.

Whatever cache that is, VT has not seen any tangible benefits the last 10 years. So, give me a deal better than Wake please. Thanks I'll take the actual money and apparel.

What's switching from Nike to UA gonna cause us to do, start recruiting at a subpar lev...

I mean look at Maryland, it hasnt been pretty ....

And they actually get a lot of $$$ from Kevin Plank, and I'm guessing a better deal because of that association.

Maryland's association there is a big reason why I want nothing to do with UA.

And have you seen Maryland's uniforms? GROSS!

Yes, and there's that.

Yuck!

OMG... We can't go with UA, their uniforms are ugly....

To be fair, that exact uniform wasn't used during the 2013 season.

The uniform top was used in the opener against Alabama and was paired with maroon pants, which I thought was a pretty decent look. The top isn't the greatest looking, but I'd take that any day over the Maryland uniforms.

The grey pants were used against Maryland ironically, and were paired with a Maroon home top and Hokiestone helmets with a VT, which I thought was dope.

Also, to be fair to UA, the reason why the UMD uniforms are atrocious is because they incorporated the state flag into it, which I'd wager most people think is ugly outside of Marylanders. Probably a majority of UMD fans like their uniforms. I'd say their classic uniforms are easily better even if they are nothing to write home about.

Isn't the story with this that it wasn't actually a Nike uniform because we decided to get special uniforms at the last minute, and we just had to put the logo on it because of the contract obligation?

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

OK, less semantics with this one..... and many others. Point stands..

Still, Maryland did THIS on purpose:

And this:

Apparently they had TOP MEN working on it. Who?

TOP.

MEN.

Top Men

to come up with this:

Wonder where the inspiration came from?

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
@BuryHokie #ThanksFrank

Apparently they had TOP MEN working on it. Who?

TOP.

MEN.

For those who grew up playing NES like me, this was my first thought...

Coincidentally, he had the worst weapon in the game.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

One of the best in the game, you mean. It ignored I-frames

Yeah, but if you weren't pixel-perfect with it, you were getting rocked.

Source: got rocked.

No, I *don't* want to go to the SEC. Why do you ask?

We don't love dem Hoos.

I love these uniforms. Maryland has the best flag in the union (in the world?), and I love that they said 'fuck it we're going to throw it on a uniform and make it as loud as possible'

Twitter me

I'm also guessing that UA doesn't have a blanket policy to give everyone the maryland treatment. Guessing Whit would have final approval - see wisky..

Those grey unis will forever be someone from Nike turning in their exam at 11:59pm. Out there against Bama looking like a middle school gym class.

Do you want to move on Nike in general or if they offer us the best deal would you be fine sticking with them?

Gobble Till You Wobble

I want a better deal than Memphis, Liberty, Purdue, WVU. That's what I want. If Nike pays us the same as UVA, I'd even be fine with that.

Agreed. I just couldn't pick up on if you were tired of Nike in general or just wanted the best deal regardless of where it comes from. I'd be 100% fine with adidas swooping in at this point. I think they've done well with the schools they've recently taken on.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Death, taxes, and whining about the Nike deal.

It's Time to go to Work

"Whining" implies we're being unreasonable.

We're not. It's an objectively awful deal

You're the only ones that I can talk to about this, you guys.

i think "whining" implies that there's any agency in changing it

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Whining: complaining repeatedly e.g. Complaining ad nauseam about a deal that has been around for six years and has no prospects of changing.

It's Time to go to Work

yeah and it changes nothing lol

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

This time something will change when we all agree the deal is bad again.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

My sentiments exactly.

It's Time to go to Work

Death, taxes, and "we don't have the resources to compete with Clemson"... but I'll give Nike ripping us off a pass

We signed the deal. Nike isn't in the wrong here for trying to make the best deal for them.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

We had the option to re-bid it, or simply let it roll over. We did the later... That's not the same thing as signing a new deal. It's more akin to an auto-renewal on Office 365.... for 10 years.

It still isn't Nike ripping us off. It is us not optimizing out value.

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?"

Literally the same group always harping that we don't have money are the first to say we can't leave Nike because of the brand. Deals like this are honestly why even if VT Athletics came into a financial windfall tomorrow, I still think we wouldn't know what to do with it.

If CamSoda offers VT $20m/year, we better fucking take it!

Twitter me

For 10% of that, I will wear the camsoda apparel logo on all my clothing. They don't even need to provide apparel, just a bunch of patches of different sizes.

Sounds like a win-win to me....

For 10% of 205 million dollars do you even need to wear clothing?

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Now you are getting more in line with the CamSoda business model.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

REMOVED

I don't know how they'd do with uniforms, but I bet they'd have some great parties.

I have the feeling the cheerleaders uniforms would be controversal.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

In a GOOD way. They may even supply some cheerleaders.

Good is just a matter of perspective, good for me, bad for my kids watching the game. If folks thought the antics of some during "Stick It In" was bad, well they would probably adjust their lines in the sand if an adult entertainment company had influence over the cheerleaders uniforms.

Whatever. It was one bad year.

Seasonal Brew means High ABV for football season and standard the rest of the year.

Which is why it's fun to discuss, and we're not worried that it would actually happen.

"Stick it in" brought to you by CamSoda for when you just have to watch!

"Stick it in, Stick it in!"

Crowd goes nuts.

Well they are in LA, after all