Athletic Brand Change by Ethan Espiritu

Notre Dame de Namur’s athletics recently signed a contract with Under Armour to use Under Armour apparel and uniforms. Under Armour’s mission statement is to “make all athletes better through passion, design, and the relentless pursuit of innovation”(Under Armour). All teams starting this year have begun using Under Armour with the exception of the men’s golf team who still uses Adidas. This is the first time in several years that almost all of the athletic teams at NDNU will be using the same brand for uniforms and apparel. Many notable teams with some of the “freshest gear” in college sports have Under Armour contracts such as the University of Maryland and Notre Dame. With teams such as soccer and cross-country already starting season, it is apparent that Under Armour is making a mark on the athletics programs at NDNU.

Koret Field, the home of both the men’s and women’s soccer team, as well as the men’s lacrosse team already has the famous UA branding all around the field. Alongside the NCAA posters and banners posted around the field, Under Armour has also given the athletics department custom Notre Dame de Namur and Under Armour collaborated banners that are clearly visible around the field, specifically by the bleachers and entrances. Because soccer season is in full swing, Under Armour soccer banners with “Protect This House” can be seen with every turn of a head. Seeing this, we can expect that Under Armour will do the same for the springtime when men’s lacrosse takes the field. The banners for men’s lacrosse will most likely use Under Armour’s famous “Command Every Moment” saying used for many of their lacrosse sponsored teams and events.

Many of the coaches seem to have a positive outlook on this new deal with Under Armour and the positive effect it could have with their athletes in the future. Coach George Puou of NDNU’s men’s basketball team says, “I don’t know the full extent of the details of contract or agreements with UA, but I feel

it came from a positive budgetary standpoint in mind and brand unity for the overall athletics department. Whatever the reasons, I’m sure it came with the best decision in mind for the athletics department and university”. Although the transition to Under Armour has been a positive one for all of NDNU’s athletics, the transition was not always an easy one for some coaches. Head coach, for both men’s and women’s soccer who is also the director of soccer, BJ Noble states, “ I have been with Nike for the past seventeen years, at the beginning the transition was tough. After a couple months of wearing UA and seeing it on our student-athletes it has grown on me”. Coach Noble also goes on to say, “UA has been very easy to work with”, showing that Under Armour is willing to make the transition over to their brand an easy one for the coaches of all sports.

The future of Under Armour and NDNU athletics looks to be a bright one. Although Under Armour isn’t the “top dog” A.K.A Nike, the brand seems to be coming up big in the world of athletic wear and is marking their territory with contracts with hundreds of universities across the United States and NDNU has become part of their family that will “Protect This House”.

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