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Jul122012

Under Armour Among U.S. Brands Going Global With English Premier League

By Barry Janoff

July 12, 2012: Following recent launch and marketing for Spine RMP, Under Armour has officially unveiled its home-and-away jerseys, shorts and cleats for Tottenham Hotspur of the Barclays English Premier League.

According to the club, the five-year deal signed in January is one of Under Armour's biggest team sponsorships, estimated to be in excess of $77 million, per industry analysts. Under Armour also has a marketing deal with Tottenham Hotspur all-England defender Michael Dawson, and its deals in Europe include the Welsh Rugby Union and Hannover 96 of the German Bundusliga.

This is the first alliance for Baltimore-based Under Armour in the EPL, but continues a trend of U.S.-based companies forging marketing and sponsorship deals with EPL clubs. Within the past two months, General Motors' Chevrolet brand became the official global automobile partner of Manchester United and Delta Air Lines signed on as the official carrier of Chelsea FC.

Tottenham Hotspur marketing partners also include Visa, Thomas Cook and HP division Autonomy, whose mobile-technology unit, Aurasma, is the club's jersey sponsor.

"[This] is a defining moment for the Under Armour brand as we debut our new kits for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club," Kevin Plank, Under Armour founder and CEO, said in a statement. "Tottenham has a tremendous heritage and a passion for winning that makes them the perfect match for our brand. This partnership will introduce millions of football fans around the world to our innovative performance apparel, footwear and accessories that are designed to help all athletes perform better."

Like GM and Delta, Under Armour is using its Tottenham alliance to build upon and expand a global presence. The company's European headquarters are in Amsterdam and UA also has offices in Denver, Hong Kong, Toronto and Guangzhou, China.

"This partnership will introduce millions of football fans around the world to our innovative performance apparel, footwear and accessories."

“This is a highly significant and exciting partnership for Under Armour," Plank said in a statement at the time of the signing. "Aligning with an elite organization like Tottenham Hotspur demonstrates our deep commitment to growing the Under Armour brand in the U.K. and to showcasing our apparel and footwear on the world’s most prestigious athletic stages.”

According Daniel Levy, chairman forTottenham Hotspur, "With the Club about to move into a new state-of-the-art training Center, the launch of this partnership with Under Armour comes at a very exciting time for us. Not only are they one of the most exciting brands in world sport, but Under Armour also has a reputation for performance and technical excellence and this is demonstrated by the fantastic kit they have designed for this coming season."

Under Armour and Tottenham are supporting with marketing in the U.K. to include Internet, social media, print in the club's game program and signage in White Hart Lane Stadium, the club's home pitch.

London-based Barclays this week renewed its title sponsorship of the EPL for three years in a deal valued at $185 million. The new pact begins with the 2013-14 season and runs through 2015-16. Barclays has been aligned with the EPL since 2001.

The 20-club league attracted more than 13.4 million fans last season and its games are broadcast in more than 210 territories reaching a potential 650 million homes and close to 5 billion viewers, including the U.S., according to EPL.

Q&A: Can Under Armour's Spine Help To Break Nike, adidas?

General Motors Drives To Manchester United

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