Underneath the logo: Utes, Under Armour to redesign hoops unis for 2013-14 season
Through a Government Records Access and Management Act request, the Deseret News received a copy of the University of Utah's contract with Under Armour. The contract explicitly requests the pricing provisions of the contract be redacted as the company considers them trade secrets.
Even though the dollar amounts are redacted, the number of ways the school may be compensated under the contract indicate this is likely a favorable deal for the school.
The same trade secrecy obligations do not apply to other universities who have made their agreements with Under Armour public record. Such contracts can be used comparatively as a measure of the value of the University of Utah’s contract with the company.
Last year, the University of South Florida signed a deal with Under Armour that for 2012-2013, granted the school $1 million in product allowance, $625,000 in cash payments and $150,000 in marketing spend. That makes the contract worth just under $2 million a year. The bonuses range from $15,000 for a bowl appearance to $75,000 for a BCS bowl bid, to $250,000 for a national championship.
Certainly Utah’s deal is different, but South Florida's numbers serve as a good comparison considering each school's size and the scope of their athletic programs.
Monetary compensation isn’t the only value the school gets from the relationship. Argust specifically mentioned Under Armour's clothing technology continues to be cutting edge. In fact, the company recently signed USA Gymnastics through 2020. As new products are added to meet the needs of those world-class gymnasts, Utah's nationally-recognized gymnastics team will also have access to them.
Additionally, the school sees value in the special uniforms in terms of exposure and recruiting. Special events, such as the camouflage uniforms the football team wore in 2010, become a story for the newsmedia and put the school in the spotlight.
And as the other in-state schools stated, the gear is important to recruits.
“If you’re a young male or female looking to find an institution to fit your needs both athletically and academically, you want to know, ‘What am I wearing? What kind of shoes do I have?’” Argust said.
Editor’s note: This is part four in a five-part series on how athletics apparel contracts affect Utah’s major universities. Part one and part two explains the nature of these contracts while part three deals with Utah State and part five looks at BYU’s agreement with Nike.
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