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NU athletics partners with Under Armour

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NU athletics partners with Under Armour

Chris Butler

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Northeastern Athletics announced a multi-year, exclusive partnership with Under Armour on March 9 that will begin fall 2018.

The partnership means Under Armour will provide gear and apparel to the 18 varsity sports at Northeastern, potentially including all club, recreational and intramural sports teams.

“In our industry, in collegiate athletics, it’s very customary to align with one of the three national brands,” said Northeastern’s athletic director Jeff Konya. “It allowed for us to put all of our sports under one umbrella.”

Prior to the new partnership, each varsity sport had its own partnership set up, providing little unity as an athletic department, Konya said. Some teams already partner with Under Armour, such as the field hockey and baseball teams.

Konya said the university received offers from Nike and Adidas as well. However, Under Armour was “the one that we could not pass up.”

“[They’re] very aggressive in the marketplace,” Konya said, “and I think that’s DNA in athletics that we want to try to emulate.”

Boston houses one of Under Armour’s Brand Houses, which the athletics department saw  as an additional advantage over the other offers in addition to the popularity of the brand. Under Armour also offered a “robust incentive” financially for accepting their sponsorship, said Konya.

The Northeastern athletes, as well as the coaches and staff, will be receiving new apparel, uniforms and on-field training gear once the partnership begins in the fall, which Konya hopes will improve the unity among the department.

“We want everyone to feel as though we’re one family and all pulling in the same direction,” he said, “so this is a piece of that puzzle.”

Konya hopes the partnership will provide a uniform look across all sports, creating a brand for Northeastern athletics.

“When we are in public or on TV or in the national media, the consistency is going to yield a better relationship with our brands,” Konya said, “rather than it being detracted by different color schemes, different looks, different patterns.”

Konya said the university’s strong academics and the success the athletic department experienced in the past year attracted the company to Northeastern.

The partnership will also incorporate the club and recreational branches of the athletic department along with the varsity sports. Over 30 of Northeastern’s 51 sports clubs already have existing partnerships with Under Armour, so it should be a smooth transition, Konya said.

NU’s bookstore also currently has a partnership with Under Armour, which could lead to collaboration between the athletic department and the bookstore.

“As we move forward with Under Armour and our athletic teams, we would like to be on the cutting edge,” Konya said. “That’s going to speak very well to our institution but also in terms of the athletics that we are willing to be the forefront of change.”

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NU athletics partners with Under Armour