Notre Dame athletics have been outfitted by adidas exclusively since 2001, but according to some reports on Monday, the University could be looking at making a switch to Under Armour in 2015 after the current deal with adidas expires.
Pual Lukas of Uni-Watch.com, a website at the forefront of all of the goings ons with college and professional uniforms, reported on Monday that they’ve heard Under Armour is currently the leading candidate to get the Notre Dame contract in 2015.
Latest word I'm hearing is that Under Armour is now the leading candidate to get the Notre Dame contract after 2014.— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) December 16, 2013
According to Wikipedia, Under Armour currently outfits Auburn, Boston College, Maryland, Northwestern, South Florida, Temple, Texas Tech, Utah, and a few other programs meaning Notre Dame would be the most marquee University on the Under Armour roster.
Adidas has done a pretty good job with the Notre Dame jersey over the last few years. The special edition jerseys the Irish have worn each year for the annual Shamrock Series games haven’t been of the ridiculous variety that other schools have rolled out each year for the most part and adidas hasn’t done too much to tinker with the classic Notre Dame home and away jerseys. The helmets in 2011 and 2012 may have been met with a little consternation from some of the Notre Dame faithful, but those helmets weren’t designed by adidas.
The Shamrock Series jerseys designed by adidas have also succeeded in creating a “cooler” Notre Dame jersey in the eyes of high school recruits thus accomplishing one of the primary goals of the alternate jerseys.
Adidas has done a pretty good job creating some great non jersey apparel for Notre Dame fans too mixing in some classic, traditional, and simple designs along with some more modern and trendy designs like the ones below.
Those basketball jerseys that Notre Dame wore during the 2013 Big East and NCAA Tournaments were another story on the other hand.
Notre Dame’s current deal with adidas paid the University $60 million over the 10 year length of the contract. If Notre Dame were to switch providers, one would imagine that Notre Dame would be seeking a deal at least comparable with what Michigan got from adidas in 2007 just two years after Notre Dame inked its sponsorship with adidas. Michigan reportedly got upwards of $80 million for 10 years running through 2017.
Notre Dame initially began working with adidas in 2001 and then renewed with them in 2005 with their current deal. Prior to the initial deal with adidas, Notre Dame had a 50 year partnership with Champion for all of their uniform needs.
Sports Business Joursnel had a really interesting article over the summer discussing the economics of the university sponsorships of Nike, adidas, and Under Armour and suggested that the market would only get more competitive with Nike and adidas far and away the top dogs and Under Armour trying to break into the space. Could Notre Dame parlay Under Armour’s current third place status in the market into a favorable deal for the University? With just one year remaining in the current adidas deal we may find out sooner rather than later.