Jan. 21, 2014
Swarbrick & Plank Interview
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
The University of Notre Dame and Under Armour today announced their new partnership at a press conference on the school's Indiana campus. Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank joined University Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick to formally introduce the alliance of one of the country's most distinguished collegiate athletic programs and the global leader in performance footwear and apparel. As part of the 10-year agreement, Under Armour will exclusively design and supply the footwear, apparel and equipment for training and game-day uniforms for each of the university's men's and women's varsity athletics teams.
"Notre Dame is the standard-bearer of excellence in collegiate athletics and is one of the most recognizable and admired universities in the world," said Plank. "It's an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to dedicate our passion and innovation for making athletes better into this game-changing partnership. We look forward to collaborating with the university's administration, athletic department, student-athletes, alumni and its powerful fan base to uphold the Fighting Irish's championship pedigree."
In addition to outfitting Fighting Irish athletic teams, the brand plans to integrate the university into its wide-ranging story-telling efforts, including global marketing campaigns, social media initiatives, in-store promotions and grassroots activations.
"We are thrilled to announce this partnership with Under Armour. It is a partnership that will benefit our student-athletes in a number of ways," said Swarbrick. "The most obvious of those relates to quality and quantity of the world-class footwear, apparel and equipment Notre Dame will be able to provide to its student-athletes. And in as much as this represents the largest financial commitment ever made by a brand to a university, it will provide the critical resources we need to enable our student-athletes to compete at the highest levels.
"But perhaps what makes me most excited is the overall level of commitment and partnership as reflected in what may be the most wide-ranging overall relationship anywhere in college athletics. That is demonstrated in both the term of the agreement and the unique feature that makes Notre Dame a shareholder in Under Armour," Swarbrick continued. "It is reflected in a shared desire to collaborate in areas such as sport technology, product development, and athlete performance.
"Our coaches and student-athletes look forward not only to using Under Armour's standard-setting performance footwear, uniforms, practice gear, and equipment--but also to working side by side with Under Armour to help make those products even better."
This new affiliation further expands Under Armour's leadership in providing proven performance benefits to college athletes on all playing fields. Notre Dame is the brand's thirteenth Division 1 all-school partnership.
The Fighting Irish football team is one of the most decorated programs in all of sports. Playing as an Independent, the unit has captured 11 consensus national championships and has produced seven Heisman Trophy winners. Other Fighting Irish teams have combined to win 19 national championships, most recently, the 2013 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship. Most of the school's varsity teams now compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
About Notre Dame Athletics
The University of Notre Dame sponsors 26 varsity athletics programs (13 men's, 13 women's), dating back to 1887 when the Irish played their first football game. Notre Dame won its 30th overall national championship when the Irish claimed the 2013 NCAA Men's Soccer Championship following previous titles in football (11 consensus), fencing (three men, one women, four combined), men's basketball (two Helms Foundation), women's soccer (three), men's tennis (two), plus one each in women's basketball, men's golf and men's cross country. Notre Dame remains an Independent in football, but most other Irish sports in 2013-14 began competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame student-athletes in 2013 recorded the highest NCAA Graduation Success Rate figure (99) among all Football Bowl Subdivision institutions.
About Under Armour, Inc.
Under Armour (NYSE: UA), the originator of performance footwear, apparel and equipment, revolutionized how athletes across the world dress. Designed to make all athletes better, the brand's innovative products are sold worldwide to athletes at all levels. Under Armour's wholly owned subsidiary, MapMyFitness, powers one of the world's largest Connected Fitness communities. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland. For further information, please visit the Company's website at www.uabiz.com.