Under Armour announced a multi-year partnership with basketball player, Brandon Jennings, who becomes the brand’s first basketball shoe endorser. Jennings, a guard, last year became the first U.S. high school player to immediately pursue a professional basketball career overseas before becoming eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft. He recently signed with Pallacanestro Virtus Roma of the Italian pro league.
Under Armour noted that the of Jennings comes on the heels of the brands recent announcement that it would outfit the University of Maryland mens and womens basketball teams head-to-toe next year. Under Armour also sponsored the third annual Boost Mobile Elite 24 high school basketball showcase this past summer as well as the sponsorship of the Capital Classic last April.
“We are proud to welcome Brandon Jennings as the first Under Armour basketball athlete,” said Kevin Plank, Under Armour chairman and CEO, in a statement. “He is an extremely talented and fearless player with the skill set to become a game-changer internationally. Brandons attitude and his dedication to hard-work make him the ideal athlete to represent the Under Armour brand.”
At Oak Hill Academy, Jennings averaged 35.5 points, 7.5 assists, 5 rebounds and 4.0 steals per game in his senior year of high school. His won the 2008 Naismith High School Basketball Player of the Year, 2007-08 Gatorade Player of the Year – Virginia, 2008 Parade Magazine Player of the Year and 2008 EA Sports Player of the Year. In addition, he led his 2006-2007 team to a 42-0 record and a No. 1 ranking in the USA Today Super 25 national rankings.
“I am extremely excited to be the first athlete selected to represent Under Armour Basketball,” said Jennings. Ive always prided myself on being one step ahead of the pack and true to my beliefs like my journey to play professionally in Europe. I look forward to my role as a global ambassador for Under Armour basketball.”
Jennings advisor on the deal was Sonny Vaccaro, who helped forge the basketball shoe endorsement marketplace with Nike, adidas and Reebok.
Vaccaro, added. “He is without a doubt one of the most driven players that I have ever watched and by choosing to play in Europe as a high school player, he is doing what no other basketball player has ever done. This will go down in history as a landmark decision
. from Compton to Rome
.Brandon Jennings did it first.”
In October 2008, Under Armour will launch a special Brandon Jennings blog on www.underarmour.com. The blog will allow fans the opportunity to follow Brandons experiences in Rome and his pursuit of his athletic goals.