UCLA Athletics’ 15-year, $280 million apparel deal with Under Armour Inc. of Baltimore went into effect on July 1.

The deal gives the university’s athletic department an immediate infusion of cash and products that surpasses its prior deal with Adidas, which paid $7.5 million annually.

The contract calls for UCLA to receive a $15 million signing bonus on the first day of the contract and a $9 million rights fee each year. The school also stands to get $113 million in products such as jerseys and equipment over the course of the agreement.

“This deal in its entirety touches every area for us to be an elite university,” said Josh Rebholz, UCLA’s senior associate athletic director.

He said the biggest difference from other apparel proposals was the comprehensive nature of the deal. Under Armour committed money specifically to improve facilities for athletic department executives, athlete training and health care.

Scheduled work includes upgrades to the Acosta Athletic Complex, which was last remodeled in 2006. It has a 15,000-square-foot weight room, 8,000-square-foot training and rehabilitation facility, locker rooms and team meeting space.

The J.D. Morgan Center, last upgraded in 2001, is also set for a makeover. The complex serves as a hub for the university’s 25 athletic programs. It houses private offices for administrators and coaches, a student academic center and media facilities.

Under Armour also recommended standardizing logos and colors across all the uniforms of the university’s teams.

And in a break from a popular trend, unlike some universities – think University of Oregon – you won’t find UCLA wearing alternate jerseys featuring nontraditional colors in the future.

“UCLA is a conservative institution,” Rebholz said. “We told Under Armour that we do not need or want to have an alternate jersey every week. They put together a classic uniform that respects the history of UCLA football.”

The redesigned football jerseys will make their public debut at a July 15 event at the Rose Bowl for season ticket holders and fans.

Shored-Up Series

Volleyball veteran Leonard Armato, chief executive of the World Series of Beach Volleyball event in Long Beach, is expanding the tournament to include more competitions, a new broadcast partner and additional live music acts.

And there are more changes planned next year.

“What we are doing is continuing to evolve the strategy that we developed several years ago to create a microfestival anchored in the best of volleyball and lifestyle,” said Armato, former chief executive and commissioner of the Newport Beach-based Association of Volleyball Professionals, or AVP.

“Festivals provide more revenue opportunities,” he said.

The Long Beach event, set to run July 13-16, will feature two-person teams of American stars such as Kerri Walsh Jennings, Sara Hughes, April Ross and Phil Dalhausser pitted against top competitors from around the world. The event gets a boost among international stars because it is sanctioned by FIVB, the sport’s governing body for Olympic and world competitions.

Meanwhile, the series has a new broadcast partner in Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN. Armato plans to develop at least three major volleyball events next year that would be configured as an FIVB-sanctioned Triple Crown Series to be broadcast by the channel.

Last year’s event featured a free concert on the beach, and six-time Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer Kaskade is set to perform this year at a Saturday-night waterfront concert that sold out 12,500 tickets, which cost $65. The artist will launch his first annual “Sun Soaked” outdoor beach party in conjunction with the volleyball series.

Another rival of the AVP – the National Volleyball League –also is set to officially kick off its 2017 season as part of the Long Beach event.

“Having scale and aggregating the weight of everyone’s collective resources can help us compete with larger sports with mass reach,” Armato said. “We think that we should cooperate.”

Virtual Viewing

Fox Sports plans to debut a virtual reality viewing feature at this month’s Concacaf Gold Cup.

The West L.A.-based sports network worked with New York VR firm LiveLike to develop an app and social experience that allows viewers to connect with other fans in a virtual setting while watching the international soccer tournament.

“The massive feature set of this application keeps growing, and we think that social is a wildly important and seminal moment in the ongoing evolution of the technology,” said Michael Davies, senior vice president of field and technical operations for Fox Sports, in a statement.

The social component will allow fans to have a discussion with other viewers that appears alongside the broadcast. They can also order food from Buffalo Wild Wings through the app. The free app can be downloaded on any smartphone, tablet or VR headset, though it requires a Fox Sports TV subscription to use.

Staff reporter David Nusbaum can be reached at dnusbaum@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8336.

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