Under Armour

Malvern signed a contract with Under Armour in June of 2023 agreeing to wear UA gear for the next five years. This partnership applies to the majority of Malvern sports and is used for uniforms and each sports’ online spirit wear stores.
Under Armour

In June of 2023, Malvern Prep signed a five-year partnership with Under Armour. There are many benefits to this partnership. Athletes receive their gear straight from BSN, which simplifies the process of shipping and is much easier to handle. The school also looks more professional, and all the teams look united. The school also gets kickback and benefits from BSN to supply coaches gear and equipment like pads and bleachers.


In recent years, Malvern has let each team choose which brand they wanted to wear, usually based on which company is most prominent for their sport. For example, basketball previously wore Jordan, soccer wore Nike, golf wore Callaway, and baseball wore Adidas. Now, under this contract, Malvern will represent Under Armour in ten major sports. However, there are a few teams whose gear will come from elsewhere. The sports that do not wear Under Armour include ice hockey, rugby, rowing, sailing, swimming, water polo, wrestling, and squash. These sports are not under the UA umbrella because UA does not make the appropriate gear. 


For example, swimming and water polo do not use Under Armour because UA does not make racing suits, racing caps, water polo caps, etc. On the other hand, sports like golf must be dressed in Under Armour clothing, but can use other golf brands for items like bags, clubs, shoes, and more. The golf team can use different brand bags such as Ping or Titleist if they wanted, and they can wear different shorts and shoes too, just the shirts must be Under Armour. 


Another one of the benefits for Malvern through this partnership is the speed in which the uniforms and gear can come in. Mr. Matt Mackrides, Associate Athletics Director, noted the convenience and improvements behind the deal.


“If we were to go under one umbrella and have everybody be Under Armour, it would benefit our school. We’re able to fulfill orders faster,” Mackrides said.


This is a benefit to everyone in the Malvern community, though for some sports Under Armour may not be the primary dealer for the uniforms, or as pleasing to the eye. The process of sending out gear was much more complicated before. Previously, the clothes would be sent to Malvern and Malvern would then have to situate everything and send it out to all the students. Now, the gear is sent directly to the house of the student, so it is easier on the staff and more timely for recipients. 


Suiting nearly all Malvern athletes in the same brand also looks more united and professional.


“It’s a cleaner look. Everybody’s wearing the same thing. Our coaching staff is wearing the same thing. So we decided to go with an Under Armour contract with the school,” Mackrides said. 


While this partnership does not provide Malvern with free uniforms, Malvern does now provide uniforms to athletes for free. Previously if the players were going to keep the uniforms they had to pay for them, like in golf the players kept the polo, or in cross country the players kept the shorts. Now, the players do not have to pay for the uniforms and they still get to keep them. While the uniforms are not free for Malvern, Under Armour gives a kickback based on a percentage that can be used for coaches gear. All the Malvern gear that coaches get is all free for Malvern and the coaches because they use the kickback that they get. This makes it a lot easier and it works out better because coaches aren’t forced to pay anymore.


“So I hate to go to a coach and say hey, you got to pay for that [gear]. So the kickback that they give us we apply toward the coaches, which ends up saving the school a lot of money because we have 130 coaches on our staff,” Mr. Jim Stewart Jr, Head of Athletics, said.


Every sport at Malvern gets a store with many different options for clothing and hats with the Malvern logo and that sport, and it is all run through a company called BSN. The school benefits from this because they get a 2 percent kickback from anything spent by the athletes for personalized gear for each sport. This money goes right into the Friar Club account for that sport, which goes right back to the team. A Friar Club account is an account with money made by a particular sport that the team can use however they want. For example if a team wants to take a trip to another state and stay overnight, they can use that money to pay for the trip, and then the students get a discount, or go completely for free.


On top of all this, BSN gives the school a credit that is used on items like team benches or batting cages, etc.


A very large part of Malvern Athletics is dealt with by BSN. They contribute to the Under Armour side of Malvern Athletics, but they also contribute to all the equipment, Mr. Stewart said,


“BSN is an Under Armour dealer. They were the middleman between Malvern. So the BSN rep arranged the contract, we signed it, and BSN worked with Under Armour to put that into motion.”


BSN also contributes to the large majority of all sports equipment. All of the pads, goals, bases, and more are all purchased through BSN. The only sports gear and equipment that is not through BSN is the track hurdles and jumping pads because they are not sold by them.


While Malvern does pay for the athletes’ uniforms, they only pay for the basic necessities, which is a basic blue and white jersey. However, if someone were to donate money to the team, that money can be used to buy an alternate jersey, or for sports that don’t necessarily need an alternate uniform they can use it for something like a warm up shirt, or team jackets. 


This partnership is very common amongst schools in our area, and the majority of schools are partnered with Under Armour. Overall this partnership benefits the athletes, coaches, and athletic directors.  


“It’s a win-win situation. They have really good products,” Stewart said.

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