UH gets $4.1 million supplier deal
STORY SUMMARY »
Under Armour does a lot more than sell workout shirts that stay dry.
It's emerging as a major player in the athletic apparel business.
Yesterday, it announced agreement on an eight-year partnership with the University of Hawaii football team that brings the Warriors football team $4.1 million in uniforms, shoes, apparel, marketing support and annual rights fees.
It is a deal like nothing UH has ever brokered before.
Under Armour is known most for its moisture-wicking shirts and "Protect this House" and "Click-Clack" ad campaigns.
Auburn, Maryland, South Carolina and Texas Tech are the only schools with deals similar to UH's.
"We've got all kinds of former players lining up to be in the commercials," Warriors coach Greg McMackin said.
UH SIGNS 8-YEAR DEAL WITH UNDER ARMOUR
» Rights Fee: $1,140,000
» Product Allowance: $1,940,000
» Coaches' Apparel: $240,000
» Staff Apparel: $136,000
» Camp Apparel: $108,000
» Marketing Support: $540,000
» Total: $4,104,000
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Greg McMackin remembers what it is like to be in early with an exciting, relatively new apparel company.
"I was at Miami when Nike picked their four teams (and the Hurricanes were one)," the first-year Hawaii head football coach said. "And it was such a great experience because they took such good care of the players and coaches and university."
Is Under Armour the Nike of the new millennium?
"I really think it's a similar situation," said McMackin, who also was often in the Northwest to see much of the Nike phenomenon up close.
UH is in ahead of the crowd. The Warriors and Under Armour announced an eight-year apparel, footwear and marketing agreement yesterday. The deal provides UH with $3 million in product and marketing support, plus more than $1.1 million in total rights fees. Only four other schools -- Auburn, Maryland, South Carolina and Texas Tech -- have similar deals with Under Armour.
"This is certainly a landmark deal for UH athletics," interim athletic director Carl Clapp said.
Hawaii's expiring agreement with Nike does not include a rights fee.
"It was important to us that it be a full-blown partnership," associate athletic director John McNamara said. "We met with Nike and Russell, and Under Armour came to the table. We were flattered by the offers from all three, but we felt this one mirrored where we wanted to go as a football program. Going forward.
"All three offers were much better than what we currently had."
McMackin said conversations he had with Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis helped sell him on Under Armour.
"We're thrilled to add Hawaii to the very select list of football programs we're outfitting," said Kevin Plank, Under Armour chairman and CEO. "We identified UH as a team we wanted to outfit."
So far, players are ecstatic.
"This is the trendy thing," McMackin said. "I just talked to (linebacker) Blaze (Soares). He's as excited as heck."
Defensive tackle Rocky Savaiigaea was among players who saw a preview of the products.
"It looks great. Nike's a big-time thing, but Under Armour, that's no joke there," Savaiigaea said. "They're giving us a bunch of things. It's not just one shirt, one shorts. The jerseys are nice, they're giving us a bunch of travel gear.
"It's like we're actually being treated like we should be treated. They're really taking care of us. When we went up to the Sugar Bowl, Georgia had all the top apparel and we didn't."
The uniform designs are still being finalized.
"I've seen the mock-ups, and it's a lot different look," UH media relations director Derek Inouchi said.
McNamara said the athletic department will keep the rights fees, which range from $125,000 in 2008-09 to $160,000 in 2015-16.