Under Armour inks landmark deal with Major League Baseball

Under Armour just made the big leagues.

Major League Baseball inked a deal with the sports apparel maker to provide all uniforms, starting in 2020, sources said.

Current uniform supplier, Majestic Athletic — which has held the license since 2005, will remain in place for the next three seasons.

Terms were not disclosed.

The Under Armour deal will also sideline rival Nike, which has made the under layer shirts for MLB players since 2009.

Under Armour has multiple endorsement deals with individual athletes, including Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper, but it has never had a professional sports uniform gig until now.

Under Armour’s rise comes as Majestic’s star is fading.

The MLB business represents the lion’s share of Majestic’s portfolio, said NPD Group sports analyst Matt Powell, adding,“It’s the end of an era for Majestic,” which has had a licensing relationship with MLB since the 1980s, when it started to make batting practice jerseys. It has made the uniforms since 2005.

The 40-year-old company was founded by the Capobianco family and was bought in 2007 by VF Corp. — owner of The North Face, Timberland and Wrangler brands,
among others.

VF announced in March that it was exploring strategic alternatives for its $500 million Licensed Sports Group, which includes Majestic.

Fanatics, which got the wholesale portion of the MLB deal alongside Under Armour, according to sources, was rumored to be interested in Majestic.

Fanatics has denied the reports and did not return calls for comment.

Under Armour and MLB also declined to comment on the deal, first reported by Sports Business Daily.

Majestic, which makes uniforms in Easton, Pa., for MLB and for colleges, employs about 500 workers. Their contract expires in 2019.

Labor officials told the Baltimore Sun that they plan to fight for those jobs regardless of who has the MLB licensing rights.

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