When Under Armour signed UCLA to a 15-year, $280 million outfitting deal last year, the company's thinking — like that of a prospective homebuyer — centered largely on location, location, location.
The agreement was a linchpin of the Baltimore brand's California strategy.
A half-year earlier, its 10-year, $96 million sponsorship of University of Wisconsin athletics helped Under Armour shore up the Midwest after the signing of heavyweight Notre Dame in 2014.
In its 21st year, the Baltimore-based company says it may never overtake its biggest competition — Nike remains far and away the leader — in numbers of schools signed. Nor does it say it needs to. Rather, the...