Did American Needle Just Help Under Armour?
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
Yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the NFL was not a single entity and therefore judges in a lower court must now decide if the league has the right to sell the licensing rights to all 32 of its teams.
And while much has been talked about the labor ramifications of this, which were actually never truly in play, fewer have talked about what happens if the NFL actually loses this case.
If the league doesn’t settle with American Needle and they do go on to lose at the lower level, teams could be in the position they were in before the league forged its 10-year deal with Reebok in 2001 when teams did their own deals.
If that becomes the case, the key beneficiary could be Under Armour.
Under Armour, a $1 billion corporation, is going up against the likes of VF Imagewear (six times its size), adidas (12 times its size) and Nike (20 times its size) .
When the league asked for offers on a total deal, which were due three months ago, it was for all the teams. If Under Armour’s numbers can’t compete at the league level, UA might now have a chance to buy certain NFL teams like they do at the college level.
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