Sep
24

UnderArmour Enters Basketball

I briefly mentioned Brandon Jennings yesterday and then came to find out that the soon-to-be overseas youngster just signed a deal with UnderArmour.  Since right around the 2008 NBA Draft, I had heard rumors from many industry insiders about UnderArmour making a push into the basketball shoe market.  Derrick Rose’s name was mentioned as the company’s first NBA client, but a few sources quickly told me that UA was being dropped by Rose’s advisors to try to drive up his price to other suitors.  Those sources explained that UnderArmour would wait until the Fall before making any moves.  Fall is just a couple of days old, and already, UnderArmour has entered its name into the game of basketball.

From UnderArmour’s press release:

The signing of Jennings comes on the heels of the brand’s recent announcement that it would outfit the University of Maryland mens’ and women’s basketball teams head-to-toe next year. Under Armour also sponsored the third annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 high school basketball showcase this past summer as well as the sponsorship of the Capital Classic last April.

“We are proud to welcome Brandon Jennings as the first Under Armour basketball athlete,” said Kevin Plank, Under Armour, Chairman and CEO. “He is an extremely talented and fearless player with the skill set to become a game-changer internationally. Brandon’s attitude and his dedication to hard-work make him the ideal athlete to represent the Under Armour brand.”

“I am extremely excited to be the first athlete selected to represent Under Armour Basketball,” said Jennings. I’ve always prided myself on being one step ahead of the pack and true to my beliefs like my journey to play professionally in Europe. I look forward to my role as a global ambassador for Under Armour basketball.”

“Brandon has the ability to perform at the highest levels and the personality to capture the imagination of the public,” said basketball advisor to Jennings, Sonny Vaccaro. He is without a doubt one of the most driven players that I have ever watched and by choosing to play in Europe as a high school player, he is doing what no other basketball player has ever done. This will go down in history as a landmark decision…. from Compton to Rome….Brandon Jennings did it first.”

In October 2008, Under Armour will launch a special Brandon Jennings blog on www.underarmour.com. The blog will allow fans the opportunity to follow Brandon’s experiences in Rome and his pursuit of his athletic goals.

I’ll be adding that feed to my RSS reader!  This is very exciting news, and I am happy for Jennings and UnderArmour.  I believe that both entities will benefit tremendously from this relationship.  Two young entrepreneurs, one a basketball and another an equipment manufacturer are aligned in a partnership that should last for a while.

I wonder how much the deal between Jennings and UA is for.  Any thoughts?  The top of this year’s NBA Draft class did not get much more than $1 million.

  • Austin Walton

    I bet he got more than $1 million, that’s for sure. I do not know how much, but I do think its a safe bet that he eclipsed that figure.

  • Austin Walton

    Alright so I was wrong, its 4yrs. $2 million or 500k a year. Add that to his three-year, $1.65 million deal with Euroleague team Pallacanestro Virtus Roma of Italy (Jennings can opt out after each season to enter the NBA draft) and you have a $1,050,000 a year. Sure beats going to college! He is a millionaire before ever entering the NBA or even being eligible for the NBA draft. If he plays well, he will be a top 5-10 pick and make millions more. Not a bad gig. If all goes well, many more will follow. Right Lance Stephenson and Ricardo Sidney.

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  • http://www.superstarforlife.com Corey Crowder

    I am very happy for this kid and his family. I hope they set themselves up with a great team of advisors. Please give a follow-up of Mr. Jennings every year or so for the next 5 years, it would be interesting to see how he is making out over time.

  • http://bradleygreenberg.blogspot.com/ Bradley Greenberg

    First I have to say that visiting this website is one of the first things I do when I wake up in the morning. It has become as part of my routine as brushing my teeth. I agree with you to the fullest extent on the Jennings, Under Armour deal. From the standpoint of an investment, this is risky for Under Armour because the public knowledge of Jennings is not quite where it would be if they were to sign a player coming out of college. Having said this, it gives UA a chance to slowly integrate this new division without the public scrutiny it would receive if they signed a college player going to the NBA. It also give UA a great chance of introducing there brand to a foreign market, something that many other athletic apparel companies have made a priority. I would love to know how you feel about this and where you think UA will go from hear. I have currently began bloggin and hope that if you get the chance, will visit it and leave a comment or two. I am sure you are very busy, so thank you for your time and all you do for us prospective athlete agents.

  • http://www.sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

    Bradley-

    Your comments mean a lot. Thank you. I think that this deal is brilliant for both entities. UA brands itself as being different than Nike, adidas, etc. Look at their ads. UA is innovative and has expanded by branding itself as a leader. The company is not afraid to take some risks, which is evident in giving its first basketball endorsement money to Brandon Jennings. Whether Jennings does well overseas or not, UA has already made headlines because of the deal and will continue to get press because Jennings will be a hot subject this year and if/when he decides to transfer to the NBA. Additionally, you mention the added bonus of spreading the brand globally.

  • http://www.lcttnews.com Phenom Finder

    Sonny Vaccaro- There is a current 8th grade Phenom at Oak Hill Academy getting groomed for his big day.
    Age 13,6’4 size 15 shoe, All Guard. He has his own website http://www.rjcurington.com. He is a must see.

    Indiana Times has done a stories on him claiming to be the next MJ

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  • http://www.RJCURINGTON.COM Phenom Finder

    Oak Hill lastest phenom RJ Curington. Check out: http://www.rjcurington.com