Coastal Carolina athletics will not only have a new conference affiliation starting this summer, but the Chanticleers will have a new look as well.
The university announced on Monday that it has a seven-year partnership agreement for Under Armour, Inc., to become the new official outfitter for the Chants beginning July 1, the same date the school formally joins the Sun Belt Conference.
Under Armour will provide on-field and training gear – head to toe – for Coastal Carolina’s 19 varsity sports and 460 athletes, as well as outfitting coaches and athletic department staff.
It marks the first time the Chants will have the same outfitter for all of their sports programs.
The university had previously signed a five-year contract with Russell Athletic in April of 2011.
“I think first off, to be connected and partnered with a brand name that has the type of appeal that Under Armour currently has and will continue to have is the big payoff,” Chants athletic director Matt Hogue said. “They’ve been growing by leaps and bounds, and they’re showing they are connected to the most prominent athletes in major sports today. To give our athletes a chance to wear that brand is significant.”
Under Armour, which has marquee sponsorship deals with reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry, PGA Tour star Jordan Spieth and reigning NFL MVP Cam Newton among others, will provide all of Coastal Carolina’s athletic programs with new uniforms for the 2016-17 athletic year.
The way these deals work for schools at the level of Coastal Carolina is the company provides a credit allotment for the program to order what it needs, rather than a monetary payment of any sort. But this deal also provides the Chants some financial incentives that can be attained, Hogue said.
“It’s a direct testament to the level that we are moving [up to] in terms of FBS football and the Sun Belt – not only where we’re headed, but the success we’ve had in the past three or four years made us an attractive target for a lot of companies,” he said. “Under Armour saw that and stepped up and chose to make us a priority as they look to expand their market share into the college sports landscape. It’s a significantly greater deal than we had before. It provides us a lot more up front and also allows us to get into complete outfitting down to the footwear, which was not part of the last deal.”
Coastal Carolina had to wait for its Russell Athletic contract to expire before it could negotiate with a new outfitter, and so the school is in a bit of a time crunch to get its new set of uniforms ordered for the 2016-17 athletic seasons. As a result, Hogue said there might not be as much teal involved in the early designs as there will be down the road.
“Our football uniform will be different this coming year. We will be working to get teal integrated as much as possible,” he said. “That’s certainly not a stock color that anybody carries. We are a little bit later in the cycle than you typically would be for the etchings, but you’re going to see a new look and new brand across the board.”