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Under Armour, Ali collaborate on sportswear

Anita Balakrishnan
Source: Under Armour

Under Armour is floating like a butterfly and stinging like a brand on the rise after announcing a collaboration with Muhammad Ali.

The company tweeted Wednesday morning, "The most iconic figure in sports is teaming up with the most innovative Brand in the game," linking to a limited-edition T-shirt that features a black-and-white image of the boxing legend on the front and the quote "will over skill" on the back.

It's a first taste of an apparel collection launching next month that will revolve around Ali's likeness, with shoes and accessories to be added for fall of this year. A video campaign starting in early March also will be part of the multiyear collaboration, according to a company press release.

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"The partnership with Under Armour is a perfect marriage as it uniquely taps into the deep connection that people have with Ali," Nick Woodhouse, president and chief marketing officer of Authentic Brands Group, said in the release. ABG licenses Muhammad Ali's intellectual material for branding purposes.

The announcement also included comments by Ali's wife, Lonnie, who called the homage to her husband "flattering."

Financial terms of the deal weren't released.

Under Armour's fitness connection: CEO

The buzz around the new line is part of a larger story for Under Armour's growing brand. The Baltimore-based company beat fourth-quarter expectations a few weeks ago after more than a year of expansion in the realm of fitness apps, acquiring both MapMyFitness and MyFitnessPal.

Under Armour is the No. 2 sportswear maker in North America. Like Ali, CEO Kevin Plank isn't afraid to enter the ring for his next fight. He aims to take on No. 1 sportswear maker Nike, according to his interview on "Squawk Box " earlier this month.

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