For its first NFL quarterback endorser Under Armour aimed high, and the Baltimore-based company didn’t miss, signing three-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady of the New England Patriots to help it wrest market share from rivals like Nike Inc.
“Tom Brady represents a lot of what Under Armour is all about,” Kevin Plank, the company’s founder and CEO, said in a statement. “He’s humble and hungry and continues to be focused on winning and getting better every single day. We’re proud to have him in our brand as he continues to re-write the NFL record books.”
Financial details of the deal were not released. Under the multi-year deal, three-time Super Bowl winner and six-time Pro Bowler Brady will wear the company’s apparel and footwear and will debut a new customized Under Armour Fierce football cleat.
“I am very excited to team up with Kevin Plank and the Under Armour family,” Brady said in a statement. “It was important for me to align with a brand that shares my values and helps me perform at my best. Under Armour makes cutting-edge products for the next generation and for athletes who compete at the highest level.”
According to a report on Sports Illustrated’s website, Brady’s endorsement deal includes a stake in the company.
Brady had been with Nike, but that contract expired this summer. Under Armour has been making aggressive moves to increase market share in apparel and, increasingly, in footwear. The company has had a line of running shoes, as well as cleated football and soccer shoes. Last month, the company recently launched a basketball shoe line aimed directly at industry leader Nike.
Under Armour is also taking its first steps in moving away from synthetic materials in its clothing to debut a line of “performance cotton” t-shirts early next year.
Brady joins other NFL players including Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis and Anquan Boldin; Dallas Cowboys Miles Austin and Dez Bryant; New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs and San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. Davis, like Plank, played college football at the University of Maryland.
Outside of football, Under Armour has endorsement deals with swimmer Michael Phelps and skier Lindsey Vonn. For its basketball shoes, the company signed Brandon Jennings of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks.
In October, the company reported third-quarter earnings of $34.9 million, beating analyst estimates. Under Armour also had a 28 percent increase in total sales for the third quarter.
News of the deal caused shares of Under Armour to rise to a 52-week high in New York stock exchange trading. Shares of Under Armour closed at $51.76, up $1.50.