Flanked by mannequins outfitted in the basketball uniform and sideline wear, Jack Swarbrick confirmed the long-swirling rumors that Notre Dame was leaving Adidas at the expiration of the current deal and going with Under Armour as the official supplier of athletic gear.
Ten years in term, it will be the largest deal in all of college athletics. Of course, terms were not disclosed, but Swarbrick and Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank assured the gathered media that they had researched figures from public sources, and were confident this was the biggest deal in all of college sports. Of note, Swarbrick also indicated that the deal includes the option for Notre Dame to take compensation as Under Armour stock. In his words, it reflects Notre Dame's belief in the University's ability to drive the growth of the Under Armour brand.
Swarbrick took great care to talk about the four criteria used to identify the right partner:
Identity: UA has become "more present, more quickly" than anything Swarbrick has seen. Allows ND to be "positioned at a different level" and remain unique in college athletics.
Swarbrick: the UA deal does not include any signage in the arenas or stadiums.— Irish Sports Daily (@ISDUpdate) January 21, 2014
Q: Anything in the works with the football uniforms or are we staying status quo?
Swarbrick: "We are staying status quo, it is hard to identify anyone in college football who is more rigorous about maintaining their uniform than Auburn. They don't modify anything about it and Under Armour is completely comfortable with that. We have made tweaks but it's been where the ND logo is and we will stay in that ballpark. The uniform you see when you come to the stadium will look like the traditional Notre Dame uniform."
The Future is ...... NOW pic.twitter.com/BfsLPBWyn1— JR Sandlin (@JR_Sandlin) January 21, 2014
A sign of things to come ... pic.twitter.com/uT5Ec9IbzI— Notre Dame MBB (@NDmbb) January 21, 2014