By Barry Janoff
March 3, 2016: In what the company called its first uniform deal with a pro soccer team in the U.S., Under Armour has signed on to become the official jersey and kit supplier for the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League.
Under Armour replaces Nike as the team's uniform partner.
Financial terms of the multi-year pact, which begins with the upcoming NASL season, were not released.
The alliance comes on the heels of Under Armour becoming the official game ball provider for the NASL.
“We are pleased to launch our partnership with the New York Cosmos,” Peter Murray, vp-global brand and sports marketing for Under Armour, said in a statement. “The team is a fantastic partner as we continue to help grow both the sport and our brand’s footprint here in the United States."
The kits, which are teased in a spot that anticipated multi-media marketing among Under Armour, NASL and the Cosmos, are scheduled to be unveiled March 16 in the Under Armour's New York Brand House. Support is expected to include signage in the Cosmos home venue, Shuart Stadium on the campus of Hofstra University; print, Internet and social media.
The deals with NASL and the Cosmos are part of Baltimore-based Under Armour's intensified foray into soccer.
Rival adidas has an official alliance with MLS and FIFA.
This past fall, the brand launched its first-specific soccer campaign, “Slay Your Next Giant,” which featured Memphis Depay of the English Premier League's Manchester United.
Under Armour soccer pacts also include Tottenham Hotspur, FC St. Pauli, AZ Alkmaar, and São Paulo FC, as well as Granit Xhaka (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and Lauren Holiday and Kelley O'Hara, members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team that won the FIFA Women's World Cup last summer.
The Under Armour jersey is expected to retain the jersey-front logo of Emirates Airline, which is a founding partner with the Cosmos.
Other Cosmos partners include Seiko, Coca-Cola, Buffalo Wild Wings, Toto, Sam Adams and First Nationwide Title.
According to Erik Stover, COO for the Cosmos, “We are very excited about this new alliance with Under Armour. We share many of the same brand values, including ambition and innovation. Under Armour is one of the fastest growing performance brands in the world and we can’t wait to share our new kit with our fans."
The 2016 NASL season begins April 2. The league operates under a split-season competition, Spring and Fall, with a year-end championship.
The Cosmos are defending NASL champions. The franchise's history dates back to the original NASL, which operated from 1968-1984, when the original New York Cosmos won five titles led by such soccer icons as Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia, Carlos Alberto and Shep Messing.
"As the reigning NASL champions, the New York Cosmos have a big season ahead and we’re excited to be part of that journey," said Murray.
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