Cal remains committed to Under Armour partnership

Cal Athletics says it's confident Under Armour has no grounds for termination

Cal Athletics remains committed to its Under Armour partnership; the University said in a statement in response to concerns that Cal's 10-year, $86-million sponsorship may be in jeopardy, as first reported by Write For California Saturday.

"We are confident that we are fulfilling the terms of our agreement and that Under Armour does not have grounds for termination," the University of California said in a prepared statement Sunday. "Cal Athletics remains steadfast in its commitment to support its student-athletes with the apparel and footwear they need to train, compete and succeed in their chosen athletic fields."

Speculation about Cal's partnership began Saturday after the Los Angeles Times reported the Baltimore-based sports apparel company is seeking to terminate its 15-year, $280-million deal with UCLA.

The news also came as Write For California was first to report official Under Armour Golden Bears “fan gear” shops and web pages were no longer accessible, including from Cal-branded ads and search results on Google. Both Cal apparel and the Cal logo remain unlisted from Under Armour’s website, including its College Fan Gear collection.

"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 global footwear and athletic apparel manufacturer said in a statement to ESPN. "The agreement allows us to terminate in such an event, and we are exercising that right."

But it is unclear the marketing benefits UCLA failed to provide. UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero, who helped to negotiate the groundbreaking partnership with Under Armour in 2016, made it clear the Southern California university plans to "resist Under Armour's actions."

Under Armour has been particularly affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the unprecedented strain placed on industries, including retail sales. The sports apparel manufacturer's stock last traded for $9.11 on the New York Stock Exchange Friday, a drop of 55% since Jan. 21, 2020, the date of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the U.S.

In addition to California and UCLA, Under Armour also partners with the Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Conference. California previously partnered with Nike, while UCLA had a deal with German sportswear manufacturer Adidas.