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UCLA AD Dan Guerrero Pens Letter to "Bruin Family" About UA Deal

The email to the "Bruin Family" from Dan Guerrero offers insights into the UA deal which were not offered at this afternoon's press conference.

UCLA AD Dan Guerrero and Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank hold up a symbolic UA-branded UCLA basketball jersey with the number 17 representing the start of UCLA's contract with Under Armour.
UCLA AD Dan Guerrero and Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank hold up a symbolic UA-branded UCLA basketball jersey with the number 17 representing the start of UCLA's contract with Under Armour.
Joe Piechowski

The following email was just sent out by the UCLA Athletic Department from Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. It might not be newsworthy, if not for the fourth paragraph which offers some insight into some of the details of the UA deal.

It is offered without comment from me, but you may feel free to comment below.

Guerrero writes:

Bruin Family, 

By now, most of you are probably aware of the news that UCLA Athletics and Under Armour have announced a landmark new partnership. 

This is a huge day for our program, one that is quite literally unprecedented - not just by our own standards, but by those of any collegiate athletic department in the country. 

Not only did we sign the largest footwear and apparel agreement in the history of collegiate athletics, but we gained a visionary partner who has, for the last 24 consecutive quarters (that's six years to you and me), driven net revenue growth above 20%. This amazing streak demonstrates not only where Under Armour is now, but more importantly, where Under Armour is headed. 

Beginning July 1, 2017, Under Armour will exclusively design and supply cutting edge performance training and game-day uniforms, footwear and apparel for each of UCLA's 25 athletic programs. On a broader scale, Under Armour will offer annual internship opportunities at the brand's Baltimore-based global headquarters for university students while UCLA Athletics, through this new partnership, will continue in its ability to provide apparel allocations for the UCLA Spirit Squad and Bruin Marching Band as well as enhance its allocations to campus recreation and their club sports teams. Also, UCLA Athletics will continue to share retail royalties with the general student body (ASUCLA), with guarantees substantially increased as part of this agreement. Under Armour, for its part, will also partner with the university on the development of its global retail strategy and partner with the athletic department on marketing, branding and creative services - including a dedicated annual marketing spend and funds earmarked for facility aesthetic upgrades. 

With endorsement partners who include reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton, Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, MLB National League MVP Bryce Harper, PGA Tour Player of the Year Jordan Spieth, the most decorated Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps and UCLA Bruin standouts Myles Jack, Alison Lee and Lauren Holiday to name just a few, Under Armour will integrate UCLA into its comprehensive story-telling efforts, social media initiatives, in-store retail promotions around the world and grassroots activations. Make no mistake, this is exactly who you want to partner with. 

Innovative, hungry, aggressive and motivated are all words that describe our new partner. With Under Armour constantly investing in new technology and consistently at the forefront of design, not to mention its growth into a marketing and branding juggernaut, this partnership will further solidify our brand at home and abroad. For example, because of UCLA, Under Armour is literally focusing its most aggressive efforts to date on the west coast - as part of this agreement, committing to open retail stores in the greater Los Angeles area no later than 2019, including on LA's Westside. 

While we could not be more excited about this partnership, I want to make it abundantly clear that this decision was not taken lightly. The process to get to today was exhaustive. We thoroughly vetted and met with a number of interested parties, surveyed our student-athletes and solicited feedback from our coaches. At the end of the day, it simply boiled down to the student-athlete - as all things should within an athletic department. We had to evaluate who would give our student-athletes the greatest competitive advantage today, tomorrow and 15 years from now. By filtering the decision through this lens, it became evident that what was best for UCLA was Under Armour - their sole focus is making athletes better, they make the best performance apparel on the market and their investment in emerging technologies is second-to-none. 

Ultimately, we are tasked, day-in and day-out, with creating the absolute best environment for our student-athletes to excel, both athletically and academically - the byproducts of which are championships. With certain projected revenue streams producing at a rate lower than expected, Under Armour's significant financial commitment ensures that in spite of that fact, we will not miss a beat in our efforts to continue elevating the student-athlete experience - with extensive facility enhancements, cutting edge fitness and injury prevention systems, full cost of attendance provisions for all scholarship student-athletes, comprehensive nutrition support, mental health support and programming, academic mentoring and tutoring, funding for summer sessions, career development programming and financial literacy training being just a few examples of our many initiatives. 

From our recent multimedia rights deal with WME/IMG to capital projects such as the Wasserman Football and Mo Ostin Basketball Centers to this partnership with Under Armour, we have taken control of our own destiny and are in the process of elevating UCLA Athletics to an entirely new level. 

Thank you, as always, for supporting UCLA Athletics and as our newest partner will remind you, 'We're just getting started.' 

Go Bruins!

Dan Guerrero
UCLA Athletic Director

It's a great day to be a Bruin! While many of the details are still to be revealed, it's hard not to be happy with UCLA getting the biggest shoe and apparel deal in collegiate sports history.

Go Bruins, indeed!