Under Armour, Ripken Baseball extend partnership

New five-year deal includes naming rights

August 01, 2014|By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun

Ripken Baseball is extending — and expanding — its partnership with Under Armour. A new five-year deal grants the athletic apparel maker new naming rights to several Ripken properties.

The Ripken Experience youth baseball complex in Aberdeen is becoming "The Ripken Experience powered by Under Armour."

A similar designation is being given to the Ripken Baseball Virtual Academy.

The Ripken Experience consists of seven fields and a training area that, collectively, have hosted more than 112,000 players since 2004. The virtual academy is an online tool containing instructional videos and advice.

New signage is already in the place. A billboard at the Aberdeen complex contains the Ripken Experience's crab-themed design and Under Armour's name and UA logo.

On Aug. 16, Ripken Baseball will team with Under Armour on the first annual Under Armour Futures Game — featuring top 12-year-old players — to be held before the championship of the Cal Ripken World Series.

"We love being involved from a grass roots level to a professional level," Matt Mirchin, Under Armour executive vice president of global marketing, said Friday.

While Under Armour is an international brand, it is based in Baltimore and has local resonance in the same way that Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. does.

"It's a perfect match for us," Ripken, who founded and is the chairman of Ripken Baseball, said in an interview.

"Down deep inside, it feels great," Ripken said. "I'm a kid from the Baltimore area. I take special pride that Under Armour originated right here."

The deal extends the partnership through 2018. Terms were not disclosed.

The original contract was signed in 2009.

Under that deal, Under Armour began outfitting the minor league Aberdeen IronBirds as well as 10 domestic teams taking part in the Cal Ripken World Series. The company also became the title sponsor for 25 Ripken youth tournaments.

jebarker@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sunjeffbarker

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