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Here's Why Under Armour 'Must Be Going Wild Behind Closed Doors'

Here's Why Under Armour 'Must Be Going Wild Behind Closed Doors'

NBA superstar Steph Curry may very well be Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UA)'s most recognizable athlete, but once every four years, his status is pushed aside in favor of Michael Phelps, the 28-time Olympic medal winner.

According to Bloomberg, Phelps is Under Armour's "crown jewel" athlete of the Olympic games; yet, there is one major problem. On the cover of Sports Illustrated, Phelps is wearing a pair of Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) sweatpants with a clear and visible swoosh.

"This will go on the wall at Nike," Bloomberg quoted Rick Burton, a former U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) chief marketing officer as saying. "Under Armour must be going wild behind closed doors."

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There is, however, a logical explanation. Nike sponsors Team USA, so the Olympian champ may have been required to wear Nike's apparel in the shoot. However, "three people with knowledge of the shoot" confirmed with Bloomberg that this requirement does not exist.

That said, the photo shoot occurred immediately after an official USOC press event in which all participants are required to wear Nike. The photo shoot also took place in an official Olympic venue, which may have added to the confusion, Bloomberg further suggested.

Mystery Solved?

Cue several more problems adding to the mystery of the shoot. As noted by Bloomberg, a behind-the-scenes video from the photo shoot shows Phelps wearing Under Armour shoes and a Ted Baker polo. In addition, Simone Biles was also featured on the Sports Illustrated cover but she is wearing the Under Armour singlet that USA Gymnastics' members wore during the competition.

Biles also happens to be personally sponsored by Nike.

"It is always challenging analyzing, interpreting, and managing the myriad rules and regs with which the athletes are told they must comply, with their eligibility at stake," Phelps' agent Peter Carlisle told Bloomberg.

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