Under Armour is set to join the NASCAR ranks, signing multiyear sponsorships with Sprint Cup Series organizations Hendrick Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing, according to Tripp Mickle of SportsBusiness Journal.
The sporting goods manufacturer now becomes the official apparel provider for the teams. The deals don't include the teams' drivers, such as six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time champion Jeff Gordon and 2012 runner-up Clint Bowyer, but will cover the rest of the organizations, from pit crews to front office members. The deals do include, however, the rights to use likenesses of each driver, car and number.
According to Mickle's report, the Baltimore-based company has been evaluating NASCAR teams and opportunities for several years.
Its first foray into the sport came last year in a one-year, trial sponsorship agreement with Hendrick to outfit the team's pit crews. The new deal includes a three-year extension to the original agreement.
"The sophistication our organization has applied to performance and the forward thinking and strategy we’ve developed around athlete development and recruiting really resonated with Under Armour,” said Pat Perkins, Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of marketing, according to the report.
The deal with MWR is for two years and includes sponsorship of the team's new athletic facility and gym at the team's Cornelius, N.C., headquarters. It will be branded as MWR Performance Center Presented by Under Armour.
“When you can associate yourself with a world-class brand, that’s big,” said Ty Norris, MWR’s executive director for business development. “When you can expand your sponsorship portfolio to help on the budget side of your business, that’s a positive all the way around.”
Financial terms of the deals weren't available as of this story's publication.