According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, Nike is close to completing a deal to take over Under Armour’s upcoming uniform contract with Major League Baseball.
In 2016, Under Armour closed a 10-year deal to take over on-field uniforms in 2020 from Majestic, the current supplier. In 2017, the deal was moved up to 2019, but then in mid-April 2018, it was again pushed back to 2020. The contract was Under Armour’s first with a major professional sports team.
Thursday, the Sports Business Journal reported that Nike will assume the contract, becoming the official supplier of on-field uniforms in 2020. Fanatics will sell the retail versions.
Under Armour struggling, Nike thriving
A source referenced in the SBJ article estimates that Under Armour will save $50 million by dropping the deal, a necessary move now that the company’s growth has slowed drastically from what it was in 2016.
“They were a different company when they did the deal,” the source said. “It’s just not affordable for Under Armour anymore.”
Another SBJ source believes that the deal is “80% done,” and likely to be announced at the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington. Under Armour was expected to put its logo on the front of jerseys in 2020, as opposed to the current sleeve position, so it is likely that Nike will do the same.
In 2015, Nike signed a reportedly $1 billion deal to become the NBA’s official uniform supplier for eight years, which began in the 2017-2018 season. The company is also the NFL’s official supplier.
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