UCLA Bruins have new footwear, apparel deal with Nike, Jordan Brand

Nike and Jordan Brand on Tuesday announced a new schoolwide footwear and apparel deal with UCLA.

The Bruins football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball programs will wear Jordan footwear and apparel, while Nike will outfit the school’s additional 22 varsity teams.

UCLA’s need of a partner for footwear and apparel arose when its original 15-year, $280 million contract with Under Armour — the richest apparel sponsorship in college sports — was terminated earlier this year.

UCLA’s six-year agreement with Nike and Jordan Brand takes effect July 1. Officially licensed apparel will be available at retail next fall, Nike said Tuesday.

“UCLA is elite, and our student-athletes deserve every resource in their pursuit of excellence. We sought to partner with the best in the world; that is Nike and Jordan Brand,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “Going into this process, our top priority was to secure the best quality and most innovative product to help our student-athletes and coaches compete for championships.”

Signed in 2016 and set to expire in 2032, the Under Armour contract included a “force majeure” clause that allowed some legal wiggle room for Under Armour to exit the contract altogether, given that there was a stoppage of athletic events “beyond the commercially reasonable control of Company” for an ongoing period.

“If a Force Majeure event continues for more than one hundred (100) days, either Party may terminate this Agreement with immediate effect by written notice,” outlined the clause.

More than three months after the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference agreed to halt the seasons of a variety of sports earlier this year in March, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Under Armour provided its written notice to UCLA that it would be terminating an agreement that had 12 years remaining. The two sides are currently embattled in an ongoing lawsuit over the termination.