So how important is this to the bottom line of both brands? Try next to nothing given the scope of their businesses. It's more of a "anything you can do I can do better" type of thing.
Last night, Nike was projecting Oregon's logo and its swoosh on Camelback Mountain, while Under Armour Auburn ads adorned nearly every billboard surrounding University of Phoenix stadium where the game will be played.
The bragging rights game takes on a little bit stronger meaning because Nike chairman Phil Knight is Oregon's biggest booster. The man has a headset in his suite to hear the playcalling and has made it a tradition for the team to change some part of its uniform for every game. There's a specially crafted combo for this game of course.
I'm not trying to undermine the value of being there — it's why Nike and Under Armour sponsor teams. Based on the number of logos on the entire uniform, Under Armour — which usually has 17 logos on Auburn's star QB Cam Newton — will get $5.3 million in equivalent advertising from the game broadcast, while Nike will see $3.1 million in exposure, according to Front Row Marketing, a sponsorship evaluation firm.
But Nike does more business in sales in two minutes in China than they'll do from championship locker room gear. And Under Armour, which is still challenged in the shoe space, could use a great shoe review more than an Auburn win tonight. At last check, Under Armour's latest debut in basketball was met with more skepticism, as the brand has achieved a 0.2 percent market share in the first couple months on shelves, according to SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell.
An Auburn win tonight would be another feather in the cap of Under Armour, whose rise to the top of the industry is the most remarkable growth story in the last decade, but it won't put a dent in Nike's 20-fold sales lead over the brand. What could? Perhaps the signing of Newton to an endorsement deal if he becomes the next big thing in the NFL.