The company founded by one of the University of Maryland’s most famous football alums will continue to outfit Terps athletics well into the next decade. And, in a sign of just how fast college economics are changing, this renewed deal will put money directly into the pockets of student-athletes.

Under Armour and Maryland renewed their apparel partnership Friday, extending a relationship that dates to 2004 all the way into 2036.

Company founder Kevin Plank, who retook control as CEO this year, was a special teams captain on the Terps football team and has made Maryland one of the flagship universities of the company with flashy uniforms inspired by the state flag and turtle shell themes. In an Under Armour press release, athletic director Damon Evans called the outfitter and the university “perfect partners.”

A key innovation of the renewed deal — which is expected to pay the university $98 million over the next 12 years, according to the Baltimore Business Journal — is an NIL Brand Ambassador Program. Under Armour will be able to pay students directly for promoting the brand on social media.

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Since the NCAA peeled back restrictions on name, image and likeness revenue for student-athletes, college sports have been awash with corporate money for marketable athletes. Under Armour has partnered with hundreds of college athletes, including some at Maryland, and the NIL Brand Ambassador Program could help the Baltimore-based outfitter expand its roster and reach with Terps.

Maryland has prominently featured in UA advertising throughout their relationship. Terps women’s basketball player Shyanne Sellers is one of the faces of UA’s Pride Month campaign. NIL money is a huge factor in modern recruiting, and Maryland’s NIL collective has helped the Terps gain ground, including bringing in five-star Derik Queen in men’s basketball and a host of transfers in the women’s basketball 2024 class.

The new deal is nearly double the value of Maryland’s last contract with Under Armour. The increase to the athletic department’s revenue could help Maryland as it looks to keep up with its Big Ten Conference peers. The Terps shelled out more than $121 million in their 2023 budget, according to the Knight-Newhouse college athletics database. Although their revenues have increased 23% since 2018, they distantly trail Ohio State ($277.8 million), Michigan ($228.6 million) and Penn State ($207.1 million).

The NCAA world is still primed to shift, however. A pending settlement in a landmark antitrust case, House v. NCAA, could open college athletes to earn salaries and share revenue in coming years, rendering NIL income into a less prominent piece of the market.

Under Armour is working to adapt to change. Plank has taken over as his company is navigating declines in sales, which led UA to announce a round of layoffs last month. Maintaining a partnership with his alma mater is a key regional foothold in Under Armour’s home turf. The company plans to move to a new headquarters building in Port Covington this fall.

“The University of Maryland holds a special place in my heart because it’s where our brand was born,” Plank said in the company release. “We’re excited about the next chapter of this partnership, which will entail working closely with Maryland’s elite athletes and tapping further into the entrepreneurship and innovation hub that exists right in our own backyard.”