Under Armour, Under Pressure

Image Credit: iStock, JHVEPhoto

Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.

Yesterday Under Armour disclosed it slashed its sponsorship commitments by roughly 50% in 2020.

The Latest At UA

Over the last few years Under Armour has learned you can only hold a plank so long. Founder and CEO Kevin Plank stepped down at the beginning of scandals within the company ranks and sagging financial performance.

To compound the company’s problems, Morning Brew was named No. 1 on the list of brands “no longer worn” by male teens according to a Piper Sandler survey.

The Latest: During the pandemic Under Armour slashed total sports sponsorship obligations by 47% to $362 million in 2020, down from $679 million in 2019:

  • Last summer, the company invoked the “force majeure” clause due to the pandemic to end deals with UCLA and Berkeley — two of the most expensive in all of U.S. collegiate sports at more than $360 million.
  • This month, the company confirmed it would end its on-field licensing agreement with the NFL.

Cash Me Out: Under Armour CFO David Bergman said ending the contracts “allows us to have kind of a bigger war chest, to be nimble on a marketing front going forward.”

the takeaway

Nike, the sportswear industry as measured by revenue, has not released comparable metrics for the year. But as of last May Nike owed $9.3 billion in future endorsement obligations, down 8% from the previous year.