Cal Athletics: 'Under Armour Does Not Have Grounds for Termination' of Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2020

COLLEGE PARK, MD - JANUARY 20:  The Under Armour Logo at the Xfinity Center during the game between the Maryland Terrapins and the Indiana Hoosiers on January 20, 2020 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

In light of Under Armour attempting to terminate its contract with UCLA, Cal has launched a preemptive strike saying the company "does not have grounds" to end their deal.

"While we understand that we are in challenging times, we have been and remain committed to our partnership with Under Armour," Cal said in a statement. "We are confident that we are fulfilling the terms of our agreement and that Under Armour does not have grounds for termination. We know that UA has put years into building its college business, and we have done and will continue to do everything in our power to help them succeed.

"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 chose athletic fields."

Under Armour, which has had several recent quarters of disappointing sales and has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, recently informed UCLA of plans to back out of their $280 million apparel contract. Michael Smith of the Sports Business Journal reported Under Armour is planning to attempt to back out of its deal with Cal as well.

Cal signed a 10-year, $86 million deal with Under Armour in 2016. While the deal pales in comparison to the UCLA pact, it's safe to say neither deal has provided Under Armour much benefit in national exposure. The schools have combined for three bowl appearances in football (zero Top 25 rankings) and two NCAA tournament berths in men's basketball since the deals were signed.

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With Under Armour looking for ways to slash costs, dissolving those deals would be a natural way to find $366 million in savings. It's unclear if the company has any legal grounds to do so. Both UCLA and Cal said they're planning to fight, likely to avoid lost revenue that they would not otherwise be able to recoup—especially in the midst of a pandemic.