Under Armour Will Sponsor Foreman-Cotto Fight
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
Those who watch Saturday night’s junior middleweight title fight between Yuri Foreman and Miguel Cotto, either in Yankee Stadium or on HBO, will see plenty of Under Armour logos.
That’s because the apparel brand has agreed to sign a sponsorship deal with Top Rank Boxing, which is promoting the fight.
“We liked the opportunity of being part of the first fight in new Yankee Stadium and being live on HBO,” said Steve Battista, Under Armour’s senior vice president of brand. “We’re also focused on our current campaign of combine training and boxers go through a level of combine training that is levels above anything else.”
The deal, negotiated by New York-based Leverage Agency includes the logo in the center of the ring used for the eight fights, the final two of which will be televised on HBO and in 150 countries around the world. Under Armour will also get in ring mentions by Michael Buffer, signage in the boxers’ corners and will run a commercial that features UA athletes Brandon Jennings, Michael Phelps, Georges St. Pierre and Lindsey Vonn on the stadium Jumbotron.
“Under Armour is a great partner to have,” said Top Rank president Todd DuBoef. “We appreciate the leap of faith that they have made by supporting boxing and are excited to deliver for them on this huge platform.”
"They're a hip, young brand that saw the potential in the buzz surrounding this event in an iconic venue," said Leverage Agency CEO Ben Sturner. Under Armour’s exposure in boxing has been limited. The company struck a deal with Electronic Arts with Fight Night Round 3 to have its branding and its main character “Big E” in the game. UA also did a product placement deal with “Rocky Balboa,” the final Rocky film made in 2006.
The Under Armour logo is not expected to be on the boxers themselves. Cotto has an endorsement deal with the clothing line Ecko, which is producing a T-shirt for the fight that it is selling online.
Aside from Under Armour, AT&T will also receive branding at the event.
The main event features the undefeated junior middleweight titleholder in Yuri Foreman, who is an orthodox Jew and will wait until after sundown before making his way to the Bronx on Saturday night, against the former champ Miguel Cotto. Although it’s the new Yankee Stadium, the last fight in the old confines took place in September 1976 when Muhammad Ali beat Ken Norton.
The stadium is being configured to seat about 30,000 fans and DeBoef characterized sales as going “very well.”
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