Under Armour has moved into NASCAR, signing "multiyear sponsorships with Hendrick Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing," according to Tripp Mickle of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. UA becomes the "official apparel provider for both teams, outfitting everyone from the pit crew to the front office in Under Armour-branded apparel." Financial terms were not available. UA saw NASCAR team sponsorship "as a vehicle to expand its brand awareness and boost sales of both athletic and outdoor apparel." UA last year signed "a one-year, trial sponsorship with Hendrick Motorsports and outfitted the team’s pit crews." It opted to "expand that deal this year with a three-year extension that will see it outfit not only the pit crews but the rest of Hendrick’s 500 employees." The deal "doesn’t include Hendrick’s drivers -- Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson or Kasey Kahne -- but Under Armour does have rights to use their likeness as well as the likeness of their car and number, which it could use on apparel." UA signed with the MWR team because the brand "saw similarities between its identity as an upstart brand that’s challenged established apparel companies and the team’s identity as a relatively new, gritty team that’s pushing its way into the upper echelon of NASCAR." Terms of the two-year sponsorship "are similar to the deal with Hendrick." UA will "supply pit crew apparel and team and executive apparel and receive the same mix of pit assets it is getting from Hendrick" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/31 issue
Surfer Kelly Slater and Quiksilver announced they will be discontinuing their 23-year partnership, effective today. Quiksilver has reached many milestones with Slater over the years, including 11 Association of Surfing Professionals World Titles. Quiksilver Exec Chair Bob McKnight first signed Slater to the brand as an 18-year-old in '90 (Quiksilver). ESPN.com's Jake Howard noted Slater in '09 signed "a five-year contract extension with Quiksilver." Upon winning his 10th world title in '10, he was "awarded a three percent stake in the company as a bonus." Slater said that he had "chosen to partner with the Kering Group, an apparel and accessories conglomerate that also owns Gucci, Volcom and Puma, among other brands" (ESPN.com, 3/31).