In what is certain to cause a social media uproar from both sides, the University of Notre Dame will reportedly renew its athletic apparel deal with Under Armour once the current deal expires according to Yahoo's Ross Dellinger. While much of the details of the new deal remain uncertain, the base numbers appear to be in the neighborhood of 10 million a year in cash and apparel for the next 10 years. While we wait for more of the intricacies to come to light, there are some questions that remain as it appears from an outsiders perspective that Nike/Jordan would have been the preferred choice...at least according to players and coaches. Here are a couple of my questions..
1. Would the Irish really ignore the calls from fans and players alike to switch from UA just to get a bigger financial deal?
I think we are all aware by now how this university works. Money is the end all be all in South Bend and they don't care who gets in their way of getting it. While it has been stated that Under Armour offered nearly double that of nike and Adidas, it isn't crazy for them to take the deal. What is concerning is the fact that the Baltimore based company has been declining is sales and stock prices for years now. Which also begs the question why doesn't UA market the Irish better? Notre Dame chose to take the most money, now we wait and see just what it might cost them in the long run. Sacrificing player comfort (cleats) and fan happiness (apparel pricing and availability) should never be compromised.
2. Will NIL be included in the new deal in some capacity?
In this new college football landscape of NIL, the transfer portal, and conference realignment, one would certainly hope that athletic director Jack Swarbrick found a way to incorporate some sort of an NIL initiative into the new deal for current and future athletes. There are countless ways this could and in reality should be done. Having Notre Dame players names and voices on UA commercials and ads going forward should be a no brainer. Especially since the Irish will continue to be their cowbell. If it comes to light that there is no such deal in place it would be a gigantic missed opportunity to connect with recruits in what is already a tough sell to sign with the Irish.
It is unknown when or even if we will get all the details surrounding the deal but Irish fans are certainly hoping that Swarbrick did all he could to get the best deal he could for all parties involved.