Bryant And Under Armour Part Ways
CNBC Sports Business Reporter
In February, shoe and apparel company Under Armour signed a yet undrafted Dez Bryant to an endorsement deal. Weeks later, the former Oklahoma State wide receiver, who only played three games his senior season, was featured in the company’s “I Will” television commercial that aired during the NFL Scouting Combine that Under Armoursponsored.
But less than a month after Bryant was drafted 24th overall by the Dallas Cowboys, Bryant showed up to organized team activities wearing Nike shoes and Nike gloves and apparently has been wearing that brand ever since.
On Monday, an Under Armour official told CNBC that the short-lived relationship was already over.
“Under Armour and Dez Bryant mutually agreed to part ways,” UA’s senior vice president of sports marketing told CNBC, in a statement. “We wish Dez all the best as he embarks on a professional career.”
Bryant's marketing agent Peter Miller of Jabez Marketing Group was not immediately available for comment.
What makes the severing more remarkable is that Bryant, who was featured wearing all Under Armour gear on the cover of Eastbay’s April issue, didn’t even leave Under Armour for Nike. Nike spokesman Kejuan Wilkins said Bryant is not on the company’s list of current NFL endorsers.
Bryant, who along with Tim Tebow has the greatest potential in this year’s draft to be a marketing star, was in the news on Monday for refusing to carry the pads of veteran wide receiver Roy Williams at Sunday’s practice. On Thursday, Bryant became the first pick in the first round to sign a contract. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the five-year deal was worth $11.8 million, $8.5 of which was guaranteed.
Under Armour’s other football endorsers include Jason Pierre-Paul (1st round, New York Giants) Ed Wang (fifth round, Buffalo Bills), Andre Roberts (third round, Arizona Cardinals).
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