On Tuesday afternoon, Notre Dame held a press conference to announce its new deal with Under Armour, a 10-partnership that is the largest deal of its kind in the history of collegiate athletics. Inside are remarks from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.
, Ind. - On Tuesday morning, Notre Dame announced a new 10-year partnership with Under Armour set to take effect on July 1, 2014.
Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame athletic director
"We couldn't be more excited about this opportunity," Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame athletic director said. "By any measure, it's the largest deal of its kind in the history of collegiate athletics. It's 10 years in terms, and covers all programs. The unique feature, which represents the depth and level of commitment, is the cash component and (stock options). We can help build Under Armour, and it's Under Armour's belief that they can have a major impact on the University of Notre Dame."
"We have four criteria that helps navigate our future," Swarbrick said. "No one could meet those four criteria in any way close to the way Under Armour has. Under Armour has become more present more quickly in any segment of our population (in recent years)."
Those four criteria as listed by Swarbrick:
1. Strong identity, separate from clutter
2. Resources, Notre Dame doesn't spend at top echelon of our business, but you need resources to compete effectively
3. Committed partners who share vision
4. Competitive edge
"Notre Dame is rich in tradition, but we are not as rich in an entrepreneurial tradition," Swarbrick continued. "We are marrying ourselves to one of America's greatest entrepreneurships in this country."
Kevin Plank, Under Armour CEO
Following Swarbrick's opening remarks, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, who grew up a self-admitted Notre Dame fan, took the podium.
"This is a pinch-me moment, without question," Plank said. "First off, thank you Jack. I'd also like to thank Father Jenkins and the entire Irish community for welcoming Under Armour into your Notre Dame community."
"We've got work cut out for ourselves, because this is going to happen very quickly. It marks the beginning of a journey with everyone at Notre Dame... and that incredibly powerful fan base."
"With our proven technology and proven innovation and incredible passion to make athletes better, our job is to ensure that we uphold (Notre Dame's) legacy and move it forward."
"We are going to compete and run like crazy for Notre Dame. We are humbled, honored, privileged and thrilled."
Plank also said he slept in the Notre Dame visiting locker room when he first visited campus in 1997, because the company couldn't afford a hotel room. Under Armour made $110,000 in 1997, and now it makes 1.8 billion per year.
Plank emphasized "less is more" in terms of uniform design..."We are looking for clean, bold and consistent looks," he said.
Stay tuned for a complete transcript of the press conference.
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