Back in 2016, Under Armour signed the UCLA Bruins to a massive 15-year apparel sponsorship deal worth $280 million and replaced Adidas as the school's athletic outfitter in the process. It was the biggest deal of its kind in NCAA history. While the partnership has kept athletes around the campus decked out in gear emblazoned with the brand's shield logo, it doesn't seem to be cutting it for the university's track and field athletes on the performance side of things.
According to a report by the Daily Bruin, many of the track and field athletes are still competing in track shoes and spikes made by competitors like Adidas, Asics, and Nike. While the transition from Adidas to Under Armour has gone smoothly on the apparel side of things, the footwear has been an entirely different story.
"Within the first few weeks, the bottoms of my (sprinting) shoes were starting to peel off and the outsides were starting to fray,” jumper and sprinter Isaiah Holmes told the Daily Bruin.
Other athletes claim the footwear is "fragile" and feel that UA does not have footwear that can properly cater to their needs on the track. In fact, jumpers on the team did not receive any Under Armour footwear because the brand does not make a proper silhouette for their events.
According to the report, some of the team's sprinters have even experienced achilles injuries while competing in Under Armour footwear. Team trainers have brought this to the attention of Under Armour in hopes of a fix in the future, and have shared the competing products the athletes prefer.
"I’m hoping that (the development of better shoes) comes about in the future," heptathlete Kendall Gustafson told the Daily Bruin. "I think some people like them, but I think that the general consensus is that some of us are happier in our other shoe brands."