The University of Wisconsin will have different-looking sports apparel in the near future after agreeing to a deal with Under Armour. According to Benjamin Worgull of Scout, Wisconsin's pact with the sports apparel power will pay the school $96 million over 10 years, starting with the 2016-17 season.
Speaking to Andy Baggot of UWBadgers.com about the Under Armour agreement, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez touched on a few of the things that went into the deal.
“Our brand is very important,” Alvarez said. “We took 25 years to build this brand and I think we have a very valuable brand. I do not want to go away from the brand. It’s something that we have earned and what we want to build off of.”
Apparel deals involving colleges have become part of the big business in sports, with the Badgers becoming the latest to get in on the action. This also marks the second major loss for Adidas among Big Ten schools. Michigan signed a pact with Nike that will pay it $169 million over 15 years—the richest apparel deal in college sports—starting next year in July.
While Wisconsin's agreement doesn't quite reach those financial heights, it's still an impressive amount of money for a school that has just recently become a consistent national power in basketball and is not often a national championship contender in football.
Under Armour continues to build its brand in unique, interesting ways. The company signed athletes like Stephen Curry and Jordan Spieth before they became superstars, making the decision-makers appear to be geniuses.
Adding Wisconsin, a school with a passionate Midwest fanbase, to the rotation gives Under Armour another major public relations boost and an attempt to craft a new, unique identity for the Badgers.