HomeFinanceUCLA Sues Under Amour For Terminating US$280 Million Sponsorship

UCLA Sues Under Amour For Terminating US$280 Million Sponsorship

UCLA Sues Under Amour For Terminating US$280 Million Sponsorship

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he University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has announced it has filed a lawsuit for US$200 million in damages after Under Armour ended its 15-year, US$280 million sponsorship after just three years.

UCLA alleges Under Armour used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to get out of the contract early, after Under Armour told UCLA in June it had decided to end its partnership with the university “as we have been paying for marketing benefits that we have not received for an extended time period”.

Under Armour also cited force majeure due to COVID-19 as part of the reason it ended the deal early, which was the largest sponsorship deal in US college sports history when it was signed.

The UCLA lawsuit against Under Armour cites other issues at Under Armour, specifically financial troubles and a federal investigation over its accounting practices in 2015 as reasons for the sportswear company to end the deal prematurely.

UCLA vice chancellor of strategic communications, Mary Osako, said the deal had simply become too expensive for Under Armour.

“It is unfortunate that Under Armour is opportunistically using the global pandemic to try to walk away from a binding agreement it made in 2016 but no longer likes,” Osako said in a statement.

“UCLA has met the terms of the agreement, which does not require that games in any sport be played on a particular schedule.

“We filed this lawsuit in order to support our student-athletes and the broader UCLA community, including the athletic department that has brought 118 national championships to Westwood,” she said.

Under Armour said in a statement it is disappointed UCLA filed the lawsuit, claiming the company is still attempting to reach an agreement with the university.

“We sought and remain open to working out a reasonable and appropriate transition for the university, and most importantly for the student-athletes,” the statement read.

“In fact, at UCLA’s request after the termination of the agreement, Under Armour continued to deliver athletic products for the 2020/2021 school year because we support athletes, even as it remains uncertain when sports will resume,” Under Armour said.

A statement by UCLA that was submitted along with the lawsuit said Under Armour is still capable of delivering its half of the partnership despite the pandemic.

“Under Armour is perfectly capable of providing the products that it promised to provide, and making the payments that it promised to pay,” the UCLA statement read.

“Under Armour, in fact, has intermittently provided some of the promised products during the COVID-19 pandemic, though it has intentionally withheld others and delayed deliveries in an effort to cause more harm to UCLA,” UCLA said.

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