Category Archives: Football

Maryland and Under Armour 2

Maryland extends with Under Armour, debuts “Star Spangled” uniforms

The University of Maryland has extended its relationship with Under Armour for an additional 10 years through 2023-2024. Under Armour founder Kevin Plank is a University of Maryland graduate, so it’s no big surprise for Maryland has re-signed. The previous contract expired last December, but it called for a cash payments of $1.475 million annually and a product allowance of $1.9 million annually. The copy I have also has a handwritten notation by the cash provision that they receive an additional $368,750 per quarter.

No word yet on the money involved in the new Maryland contract. Notre Dame landed the nation’s largest apparel contract last year from Under Armour, worth a reported $90 million over 10 years, or $9 million annually in cash, equipment and apparel. Auburn, another Under Armour school, will receive $1.9 million in cash this year and $2.5 million in product. Fellow SEC and Under Armour school South Carolina is slated to receive $1.1 million in cash and $2.1 million in product.

Not only was Maryland’s last contract signed five years ago, but its athletics teams have since moved from the ACC to the Big Ten, where Maryland is only the second Under Armour school, joining Northwestern. It’ll be interesting to see what sort of bump Maryland gets with the new contract. Don’t expect Notre Dame money, but they should get a respectable increase.

The announcement of the new contract was accompanied by the unveiling of new “Star Spangled” uniforms for this weekend (see gallery below).

“The University of Maryland is an integral part of Under Armour’s history, culture and identity,” said Matt Mirchin, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, Under Armour. “We look forward to continuing this remarkable partnership over the next decade and beyond, outfitting the Terrapin student-athletes and fans in the most innovative performance gear in the market.”

“We are excited to continue our outstanding partnership with Under Armour as we usher in a new era of Maryland athletics in the Big Ten Conference,” said Kevin Anderson, University of Maryland Athletic Director. “Kevin Plank and his entire team have been strong supporters of our athletic programs and our student-athletes who proudly don the Under Armour brand. This decade-long agreement showcases Under Armour’s unwavering commitment to the University of Maryland and our fans.”

This weekend, Maryland football players will sport historically-inspired uniforms paying homage to the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore at Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner. Sneak peak photos below.

Need tickets for Maryland football?

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College Football Mktg Week 1

College football marketing and public relations: Week 1 hits and misses

MichelleWie-2After five straight days of watching college football, which began with last Thursday night’s surprise rout at South Carolina by Texas A&M, I woke up Tuesday morning with Lil Jon’s “Turn Down For What” in my head…except the words I heard were “Third Down For What.” That’s because University of Tennessee, in a brilliant marketing move, spoofed the song and played it every time the other team was on third down. There was no missing it, even on television.

It got me thinking about some of the wins and misses I saw in terms of marketing, promotion and public relations in the first week of the college football season.

Click here to see the hits and misses on my PR firm’s blog, INKsights.

Texas A&M Won't Produce No. 7 Jerseys

Texas A&M won’t produce No. 7 jerseys

Texas A&M Won't Produce No. 7 JerseysTexas A&M declining to produce No. 7 football jerseys might be an unpopular decision with fans, but it’s the smart business decision. The No. 7 football jersey is worn by quarterback Kenny Hill, who had a school-record 511 passing yards in Texas A&M’s unexpected route of South Carolina to kick off the season last Thursday.

It’s no surprise there’s some demand from retailers to carry a No. 7 jersey, but there’s absolutely no good business reason for Texas A&M producing it. The revenue simply isn’t worth the risk.

Click here to continue reading about jersey revenue in my piece on Outkick the Coverage.

Neutral Site Game Payouts

Neutral Site College Football Game Payouts

Neutral Site Game PayoutsWhile technically the FBS football season kicked off last night with Abilene Christian at Georgia State, tonight we get some ranked teams and the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game!

For the past few years, the college football season has always started with neutral-site games. The two major ones have been the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic (since 2008) and the Cowboys Classic (since 2009). This year there will be two Chick-Fil-A Kickoff games: Ole Miss vs. Boise State (tonight – August 28) and Alabama vs. West Virginia (August 30). There will also be one Cowboys Classic game which pits Florida State against Oklahoma State (August 30).

Neutral site games have proven to be extremely lucrative for the teams participating in them. When teams venture to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic or AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX for the Cowboys Classic teams are typically giving up a lot; not only are they missing out on a potential home game, but they also lose all the revenues associated with hosting a home game such as ticket sales and concession sales. In addition, the surrounding area loses out on the revenues it usually makes when thousands of fans and alumni come into town for game day weekend. As such, payouts from these neutral site games have seemingly been enough to persuade teams to miss out on these potential earnings.

In last year’s Chick-Fil-A Kickoff, there was a total team payout to Alabama and Virginia Tech of $5 million. Typically, Alabama makes millions per game at Bryant-Denny Stadium, which seats over 101,000 people. Yet, the allure of being on center stage in a big city, coupled with the generous payouts has made playing in these games worthwhile. Alabama itself has played in 3 Chick-Fil-A Classics and 1 Cowboys Classic to date and is scheduled to play in one of this year’s Chick-Fil-A Classic games and next year’s Cowboys Classic. Furthermore, these games also have the potential to lure in key recruits as future players may be excited by the chance of playing for a big time school in a big time city.

Chick-Fil-A Kickoff

Year

Teams

Total Payout (Millions)

2008 Alabama vs. Clemson  $4.2
2009 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech $4.5
2010 LSU vs. North Carolina $3.6
2011 Boise State vs. Georgia $3.7
2012 Tennessee vs. NC State $4.2
2012 Auburn vs. Clemson $4.8
2013 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech $5.0
2014 Ole Miss vs. Boise State  $3.1
2014 Alabama vs. West Virginia $6.4 (expected)
2015 Louisville vs. Auburn  TBD

The payout for the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic has increased over the past few years. In 2012, one game has total team payout of $4.2 million, whereas the other game had a total team payout of $4.8 million. This year, the total team payout for the Alabama and West Virginia game is expected to be $6.4 million. However, in 2008 and 2009, the total team payouts were $4.0 million and $4.5 million respectively, and then decreased in 2010 and 2011, to $3.6 million and $3.7 million respectively. Thus, there has not always been an upward trend in determining payouts. To determine the payout, Chick-Fil-A keeps its $5.5 budget and then returns the revenues above the budget to the participating teams.

Numbers for the Cowboys Classic have been more difficult to confirm, but here’s what we do know….

Cowboys Classic

Year Teams Per Team Breakdown (Millions)

Total Payout (Millions)

2009 BYU vs. Oklahoma
2010 TCU vs. Oregon State $1.0
2011 LSU vs. Oregon $3.5/$2.0 $5.5
2012 Alabama vs. Michigan $4.7/$4.7 $9.4
2013 LSU vs. TCU ?/$3.0
2014 FSU vs. Oklahoma State
2015 Alabama vs. Wisconsin
2016 USC vs. Alabama
2017 Michigan vs. Florida $6.0/$6.0 $12

The Cowboys Classic has also seen its payouts increase over the years. In 2011, LSU earned $3.5 million and Oregon earned $2.0 million, for a total team payout of $5.5 million. In 2012, Alabama and Michigan both made $4.7 million, for a total team payout of $9.4 million. In 2017, Michigan and Florida are each expected to make $6.0 million, for an expected total team payout of $12 million.

After observing these trends, it is obvious that payouts are varying not only from team-to-team but from year-to-year. One explanation is that the more lucrative and successful teams are being paid more to participate in these games because they help generate more revenue. Another explanation is that the more a team stands to lose in revenue from giving up a home game (i.e. Michigan and Alabama due to their huge stadium capacities), the more these neutral site games are willing to payout. One thing is for certain, though: the neutral-site kickoff game, with its lucrative payouts, will be around for many more years to come.

EA Sports NCAA Football 2014 (1)

Are College Football Video Games Coming Back?

I EA Sports NCAA Football 2014spoke with a licensing director at a Power 5 school yesterday about the possibility of college football video games coming back after the O’Bannon ruling. You can see his answer in my latest piece for Outkick the Coverage. Or, if you prefer a podcast, you can check out my latest podcast for a full discussion.

Thus far, EA Sports has not replied to my request for comment.

Hancock's dog named "Dog" displayed prominently on his desk

Tour: College Football Playoff Office

Last October, I had the opportunity to tour the new College Football Playoff office. The Summit at Las Colinas is a fairly run-of-the-mill high-rise office tower located on the outskirts of Dallas in Irving. Nothing on the outside of the building would alert you that the most powerful entity in college football is housed inside its walls. There’s no big flashy sign. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I was at the right building (my GPS did actually lead me to a building across the highway first).

Stepping inside the lobby, you could imagine looking for the name of your doctor on the directory next to the elevator. There were the same assortment of businesses you probably have in your own office building. As a college football fan and analyst, I felt a rush of nerves being so close to the epicenter of it all, but no one else in the lobby seemed moved by the CFP’s presence in the building. Like the outside of the building, there was nothing inside the building shouting that this is the home of the CFP.

I took the elevator up and entered the office itself, and I was stunned. The CFP doesn’t even command its own floor, it only occupies a partial floor. There was a simple wooden desk for the receptionist and the CFP logo on the wall above it. That’s it. I’ve worked in law firms with grander entrances.

There was a pretty cool football design in the floor of the reception area, but as you’ll see in the slideshow below, the CFP office is a fairly normal business office. Sure, maybe they’ve got some great graphics on the walls featuring the national championship contenders and football helmets in the kitchen, but it’s just office space. After having visited numerous athletic departments and been treated to some pretty highly-orchestrated displays – think lighting effects and fight songs that are motion-detecting and begin as you enter the locker room – I was surprised the CFP office didn’t make a statement. Actually, I guess it did make a statement. It went something like this: Hello, I’m an office. People work here. Oh yeah, our work happens to involve college football.

If you’ve ever had the chance to meet Bill Hancock, you probably won’t be surprised that the CFP office is a fairly simple, functional space. If you haven’t had that opportunity, check out our latest Saturday Millionaires podcast for an interview with Hancock where he discusses everything from his policy that a real person answer all incoming calls during business hours to his 24-hour email response policy…and of course, his dog named “Dog” (pictured in the slideshow).

You can also check out some pictures from my office tour:

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453653643

Say Goodbye to Division IV

453653643In my opinion, Division IV was like Texas threatening to leave the Big XII; it was never going to happen. Texas wanted Longhorn Network and all the money that came with it, and the Power 5 (the ACC, Big XII, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) want autonomy within the confines of the NCAA.

Click here to keep reading my thoughts on why Division IV isn’t happening over on Outkick the Coverage.