Ivy League football teams play in the Football Championship Subdivision, not the more potent and better-known Football Bowl Subdivision.
But it’s not difficult to see the value for Under Armour of signing its first Ivy League school – Yale University – to an endorsement deal.
The school and its conference peers are known for wealthy, influential alumni and the global prestige of their brands. That tempers the reality that few Ivy-team football or men’s basketball games are on national television relative to contests in conferences such as the Southeastern Conference or the Big Ten.
The deal marks Under Armour's 33rd Division I all-sports partnership.
Terms of the 10-year deal were not disclosed by Under Armour. Multiple media outlets, including Bloomberg News, reported the company will pay about $16 million. That’s more than some schools from larger conferences have received in outfitting contracts.
“Yale University has a rich heritage of academic and athletic excellence,” said Ryan Kuehl, Under Armour’s vice president for sports marketing, in a written statement.
Yale has 35 teams. The football and men’s basketball teams are currently outfitted by Nike. The Yale Daily News said the basketball team will retain its ongoing contract with Nike up to the 2017–18 season.
In announcing the deal this week, Under Armour said that in addition to outfitting the Bulldogs’ athletic teams, "the brand plans to integrate the university into its wide-ranging story-telling efforts, including collegiate marketing campaigns, social media initiatives, in-store promotions and grassroots activations."