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USU Under Armour collaboration unpopular

The USU's Under Armour clothing range is generating less profit than expected

ua ARMOUR display in shop

An informal merchandise collaboration between the University of Sydney Union (USU) and athleisure brand Under Armour has “not resonated with the student community,” according to USU Chief Executive Officer Andrew Woodward.

The range, which features the Under Armour logo alongside “USYD,” in text, has been marketed and sold at the USyd Store since April 2018 and is projected to run out of stock later this year.

Items in the range have been retailed at prices ranging from $35.00 for a basic grey t-shirt, to a $65.00 fleece jacket.

The collaboration was made possible by the USU’s initial purchase of Under Armour merchandise without any formal agreement or conditions imposed on the USU. Honi understands the arrangement was originally intended to be long-term and progress towards an eventual agreement, however, lower than expected sales have plagued the range.

Australia’s small market size is behind the USU’s fraught attempts at wooing other athleisure brands. Overseas University stores in America and the United Kingdom stock popular brands like Nike, Adidas, and Champion, deriving significant revenue for student unions.

“The Australian market is considered too small for most of the major brands to collaborate with our brand,” Woodward told Honi.

The USU will continue to look for other partners that will resonate better with the student community, Woodward said.

Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank previously sat on Donald Trump’s Manufacturing Council with the brand facing boycotts in 2017 as a result.

Australian universities rarely advertise co-branded merchandise although UNSW’s merchandise shop retails a range of UNSW-Seiko and UNSW-Pulsar timepieces from $149.99 to $599.99.