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What Notre Dame's Recent Deal With Under Armour Means For South Carolina

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish just got a record apparel deal with Under Armour, which could help the South Carolina Gamecocks at the negotiating table.
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Some big news came down the pipe in the sports apparel world on Monday, as Notre Dame and Under Armour agreed to the richest apparel deal in college athletics, with Irish set to make ten million dollars a year over the next ten years for a total of $100 million. With South Carolina fans might not bat an eye at this piece of news, Gamecock Nation needs to take note of this due to the university's current relationship with Under Armour.

In 2016, the Gamecocks signed a 10-year extension with Under Armour for a total of $71.5 million over the time of the deal. At the time, that deal was the second largest in the SEC and seventh largest in all of college football. Since that agreement, there's been a lot of change regarding Under Armour and the schools they've represented, as the company cut ties with UCLA and Cal-Berkeley in 2020 and lost Boston College to New Balance in 2021.

As of October 2021, Under Armour represented seventeen FBS Schools, with the biggest brands being Notre Dame, Auburn, South Carolina, and Maryland. Regarding national brands, Carolina, objectively speaking, is third out of this group behind Notre Dame and Auburn. This is where the Notre Dame contract comes back into the equation.

The Gamecocks will be able to start negotiating with Under Armour a couple of years before their current deal expires in 2026. It's safe to say that while South Carolina will not get $100 million like the Fighting Irish, the Gamecocks will have more leverage at the negotiating table because of how big their brand is relative to the other schools Under Armour currently represents.

What happens with Auburn could decide just what the limit is on said leverage because the Tigers currently have a nine-year, $78.1 million agreement with the Baltimore-based apparel company that ends in 2025. Should Auburn decide to remain with Under Armour, they could hypothetically be offered a contract close to $88 million, collectively speaking, matching the bump Notre Dame received. If that were to happen, South Carolina, based on their brand value, could break the $80 million threshold. I should make it clear that I'm no expert when it comes to the market or sports apparel negotiations, but should South Carolina remain with Under Armour when their current contract is up, they could see a lucrative increase in their total compensation and value, thanks to Notre Dame's new deal.

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