CSU’s athletic teams may have just become a little flashier.
According to a university press release on Nov. 15, the Department of Athletics has struck an agreement with Under Armour, Inc., to provide “on-field apparel and footwear for Ram athletic programs beginning with the 2013-14 academic year.”
“It is exciting to enter into this new partnership with Under Armour,” said CSU head football coach Jim McElwain in a statement. “We’re honored that Under Armour saw the direction we are headed, and chose to partner with us. The value of this partnership, both for Under Armour and Colorado State, is enormous. We look forward to a long-term partnership with a terrific company whose philosophy and drive embodies a lot of what we are creating here with a culture of excellence in our Bold New Era.”
UPDATE 3:42 p.m.
Kelly Morgan, the store manager of Underarmour outlet in Loveland thinks this partnership will be “absolutely beneficial for the university because Under Armour is a better brand and is better quality.”
Under Armour carries gear for any and all athletes, whether it is baseball, running, or football.
“The whole product line is able to provide comfort and performance for every athlete,” Morgan said.
She hopes to carry CSU apparel in her store sometime soon. The partnership between the CSU athletic department and Under Armour will bring in more business for her store.
“If the athletes need something, we are here to replace or add on to the product,” Morgan said.
Ultimately, she was not involved in the decision to partner with the athletic department at CSU. It is all done at the corporate level.
UPDATE 4:01 p.m.
The Sports Authority located at Mulberry St. might take a hit in sales with the new partnership between Under Armour and the CSU athletic department.
“We sell CSU hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and pants,” said Sarah Emter, an employee at Sports Authority.
She thinks it is a good sponsorship between CSU and Under Armour, despite the fact that it will take away from her sales of CSU gear.
“Their stuff is better quality,” Emter said.
Being in the apparel business, she understands what makes a good product. The product must have gear for both males and females, as well as hot and cold gear to satisfy the needs of all athletes.
“Quality is what sets Under Armour apart,” Emter said, “besides having a good brand name, they have good quality products to back it up.”
She feels that Under Armour offers a wide variety of products for both male and females.
“I think this partnership is awesome because Under Armour has so many different types of clothing” Emter said.
UPDATE 5:14 p.m.
Jack Graham, athletic director of CSU, sees the partnership between Under Armour and CSU as a good thing.
“This will be beneficial for us in a lot of ways,” Graham said.
The selection process was rigorous and consisted of the brand meeting four specific criteria–performance, level of service, financial arrangements, and brand recognition. Graham hopes that Under Armour will help to accrue student athletes in the upcoming recruiting process.
“The quality and popularity of the brand matters,” said Graham, “it has a lot to do with the recruiting process of recruiting quality student athletes out of high school.”
The gear will also benefit the student athletes that we have now, in all the sports that we offer here at CSU.
“The apparel that you wear when you are competing matters to the athlete,” said Graham, “they identify with the brand so quality matters.”
CSU began looking for a new brand to represent its athletic department way back in January.
The athletic department has had a long-standing contract with Russell Brand athletics since 2004. Its contract with them doesn’t expire until June 30, 2013.
CSU has chosen Under Armour as its new brand.
“We went through a competitive process and decided that Under Armour is a better fit for us,” Graham said.
The athletic department looked at branding with Nike, Adidas, Russell, and Under Armour.
“We went into it with a completely open mind and looked at all perspective vendors,” said Graham.
Under Armour was chosen because of its diversity of products and because they fit the necessary criteria better than other competitors.
“Under Armour has technology that sets them apart,” said Graham, “they invented high performance athletic gear that enables perspiration to evaporate and go away.”
According to Graham, they are on the cutting edge in regards to performance of their products.
“They design cool stuff that can even make me look good.” Graham said.
The new contract with Under Armour will be beneficial for both the university and the company.
“You don’t make money when you spend money,” said Graham, in regards to how much CSU is spending to make this deal happen.
According to Graham, there were points of negotiation in which Under Armour agreed to provide sponsorship and quality equipment to the over 400 student athletes at CSU.
“They are providing a deep discount and providing us a sponsorship that we don’t have to pay for,” Graham said.
CSU’s athletic department has gone into a multi-year relationship with Under Armour. Due to a confidentiality clause, Graham was not able to disclose the specifics of the contract.
Developing. Stay with the Collegian throughout the day for more updates.