By Barry Janoff
December 30, 2014: Under Armour has confirmed a move that has been bouncing around the rumor court for the better part of this month, signing top-ranked tennis star Andy Murray to a four-year deal that industry analysts put at $23.6 million.
Murray, the former No. 1 ranked men's player in the world and currently ranked No. 6, had been with adidas via a five-year pact valued at about $23.5 million.
As part of the alliance, Under Armour said that beginning in January Murray would wear its apparel, footwear and accessories on-court; would be featured in marketing campaigns and will make appearances for the brand; and would participate in global training and tennis activations.
"I am very honored and excited to be joining Team Under Armour and to help them tell their story globally," Murray said in a statement. "They are committed to providing innovative apparel, accessories, and footwear, with an unmatched focus on training and performance."
Murray also has allances that include Standard Life, Fuse energy drinks, Rado watches and Head and will earn about $15 million from endorsements in 2014, according to industry analysts.
Murray joins an Under Armour roster that includes athletes Lindsey Vonn, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Stephen Curry, Michael Phelps, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Bryce Harper, Jordan Spieth and Sloane Stephens; model Gisele Bündchen and world-renowned ballerina Misty Copeland.
The brand also has deals with the Yomiuri Giants and Tottenham Spur among other global alliances.
According to Ryan Kuehl, senior category director-global golf and tennis for Baltimore-based Under Armour, "Signing Andy is really a special moment for the brand, as we continue to elevate and diversify our athlete roster and expand our international presence. Andy's remarkable character, competitive spirit and unmatched ability make him the perfect fit for our family."
Under Armour, founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, is expected to reach $3 billion in revenue this year, according to the company.
Andy is very committed and focused when it comes to training and preparation, so the new partnership with Under Armour is an exciting and ideal match," Murray's manager, Matt Gentry, said in a statement. "Athlete performance and product innovation are the brand's core pillars, which will have strong benefits for Andy and the team in 2015 and beyond."
Under Armour was named a Top Ten Sports Marketer of the Year for 2014 by NYSportsJournalism.com.
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