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UCLA is suing Under Armour for $200 million — but will be wearing its apparel this year

Former UCLA running back Joshua Kelley runs the ball
The Under Armour logo is displayed on former UCLA running back Joshua Kelley’s jersey and gloves.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

For a school seeking to change apparel partners, UCLA will sport a familiar look this school year.

The Bruins will continue to wear Under Armour at a time when they are suing the apparel giant for more than $200 million after it attempted to terminate the record $280-million deal that was signed in 2016. Staying with Under Armour will be out of necessity and not by choice.

“There’s too much lead time needed to go with another company and produce all the apparel needed for all the teams,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said Thursday.

Jarmond said the Bruins had enough gear to outfit their football team, which will start training camp on Friday, in addition to other fall teams. Inventory needs to be taken for spring sports to ensure there is enough gear to meet the players’ needs.

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UCLA is not ideally positioned to find a comparable replacement deal during a pandemic given that many companies are cutting costs and watching their budgets closely. Under Armour paid the Bruins $9 million a year as part of the deal, an infusion of cash the school will be unlikely to match with a new apparel partner.

If all goes well for UCLA, the school will be able to recoup a sizable chunk of the more than $200 million that was left on its deal with Under Armour as part of a settlement or lawsuit payout. UCLA sued Under Armour in August, alleging the company exaggerated its financial standing before luring the Bruins into the largest sports apparel contract in college sports history and failed to make scheduled payments or deliver its product as promised.

At the time of the lawsuit, Under Armour said it “sought and remain open to working out a reasonable and appropriate transition for the university” while continuing to deliver apparel for the 2020-21 school year.


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