A drawn out legal dispute pitting Under Armour against UCLA has ended with the sports apparel maker agreeing to pay the university more than $67 million.
UCLA Athletics sought this week to dismiss its breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Baltimore-based brand after the University of California’s Board of Regents approved a settlement deal reached in May.
Under Armour agreed to make a $67.5 million cash payment under the agreement obtained by The Baltimore Sun. Neither party admitted to liability and each agreed to refrain from making disparaging, negative or uncomplimentary statements about the other, the document said.
”UCLA is one of the most recognized and respected collegiate names around the globe,” said Mary Osako, UCLA’s vice chancellor of strategic communications, in a statement. “We are gratified to have resolved this matter in a way that benefits our student-athletes and the entire Bruin community.”
The university filed a request to dismiss the case Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to court records.
UCLA had filed a lawsuit seeking at least $200 million in damages after Under Armour backed out of a record $280 million contract to outfit athletes.
When it ended the contract in June 2020, Under Armour still had more than $200 million left to be paid on a 15-year contract it agreed to in 2016. The deal had been one of Under Armour’s most aggressive efforts to boost its brand through an endorsement. The brand subsequently with losses and then coronavirus-related store shutdowns.
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Under Armour said in a statement that it “remains committed to all student athletes and wishes UCLA and the entire Bruin community well.”
The sports brand had sought to strike portions of UCLA’s lawsuit and argued unsuccessfully for dismissal in October 2020, saying there was no legal basis for the lawsuit.
The brand said it did not breach a 15-year contract terminated amid the coronavirus pandemic, arguing in a court filing that “COVID-19 upended this deal.”
The company had said it was justified in ending the UCLA contract under a “force majeure” clause after COVID-19 disrupted college sports and prevented the UCLA baseball team from playing more than half its games when the pandemic emerged in 2020.
UCLA amended its initial lawsuit to add that Under Armour misled the school about the company’s financial performance when the sponsorship deal initially was negotiated beginning in 2015. The university cited a settlement announced in May 2021 in which Under Armour paid $9 million to settle federal regulators’ charges that it misled investors about its sales growth in 2015 and 2016 to meet analysts’ revenue targets.
After its deal with Under Armour collapsed, UCLA signed a six-year deal with Nike, making the Jordan Brand and Nike the Bruins’ official footwear, apparel and equipment outfitter starting last July.
Under that deal, Nike supplies uniforms to 22 of the university’s 25 varsity athletic teams, while Jordan Brand outfits the football and men’s and women’s basketball teams with “Jumpman” products.