Under Armour set to sign Andy Murray as brand bids to overtake Nike

US company Under Armour is thought to have signed an endorsement deal with tennis champion Andy Murray as it looks to overtake Nike and Adidas as the top sports apparel brand in the UK.

According to The Telegraph, Murray was seen wearing Under Armour gear in a photograph posted on Twitter only weeks before his current deal with Adidas, which awarded him £15m per year for five years, is set to expire on 31 Dec.

The deal with Murray could be part of plans for the brand to move into the tennis space – it currently does not make a tennis shoe, and would likely create one with Murray on its endorsement docket.

The partnership with Murray, who in 2013 was the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years, is also a means to raise awareness of Under Armour in the UK and Europe. The brand has deals with European football teams such as the Tottenham Hotspurs, but most of its deals are with US sports stars.

Despite Adidas’ status as official World Cup sponsor, Under Amour is the number two sports apparel brand in the US behind Nike, though the brand hopes to further expand into the British market where Adidas still ranks second.

If global sales are any indication, the brand could be on track to catch up with its sports apparel competitors. The company’s net revenue increased by 30% to $983m in the third quarter of its financial year, up from $723m last year.

In an effort to push its presence worldwide, the brand launched its biggest global marketing campaign for the women’s category earlier this year featuring female athletes and celebrities such as skier Lindsey Vonn and model Gisele Bündchen in an attempt to target women who wear sports clothing outside of the gym. The “I Will I Want” campaign was promoted through online content and a mobile app.

While the deal with Murray looks likely, a spokesman for the brand said Under Armour do not yet have anything to announce in terms of new athletes.

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