A Home Run For Under Armour: MLB Saying So Long To Majestic And Nike
According to Sports Business Daily, Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UA) scored a major win, as it teamed up with Fanatics to ink a deal to produce Under Armour-branded on-field jerseys for Major League Baseball teams starting in the 2020 season.
Fanatics is the largest seller of online sports apparel and snatched the rights to produce and customize jerseys, which can in turn be sold to customers.
The new agreement would mark an end to the MLB's long-lasting relationship with the industry titan Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE). Nike's iconic swoosh logo can be seen on the under-layer and neckline of most MLB players.
Sources close to the deal told Sports Business Daily that Under Armour was considered to be a more suitable on-field brand by the MLB. The company already holds a deal with the MLB for limited footwear rights.
Under Armour's ambassadors also include notable MLB stars including Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper and Buster Posey.
"Under Armour considers baseball a very strategic category for its future and it gives them a great public face in the summer to complement their fall and winter team sports,'' Sports Business Daily quoted former MLB Properties President and Nike exec Rick White, now president of the Atlantic League, and a licensing consultant as saying. "I'll also be interested to see what Fanatics (e-commerce) distribution can do for Under Armour's licensed and non-licensed apparel."
The report also suggested that Fanatics could be planning an initial public offering in 2018 and continues to target additional major sports licensing rights deals and a USTA/U.S. Open merchandise deal and a five-year Super Bowl deal are expected to be announced this year.
At last check, Under Armour was up 1.22 percent at $38.09, while Nike was up 0.78 percent at $51.43.
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