KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bryce Harper signed a multiyear extension with Under Armour on Tuesday, a contract that, according to a person familiar with the deal, is believed to be the largest endorsement deal for an MLB player. Although the terms weren’t disclosed in the Baltimore-based sportswear company’s announcement, ESPN reported Harper’s deal is for 10 years.
Harper has been with Under Armour since he entered professional baseball in 2010 as the Nationals’ first-overall pick. Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, popularized the use of opt-outs in contracts, and the star outfielder’s new deal with Under Armour is also believed to contain one.
Source: Bryce Harper's new 10-year Under Armour deal is largest endorsement deal in MLB player history https://t.co/eMnyO3sdos
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 3, 2016
Since he entered the majors, Harper has been a marketing darling. He won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2012, he has been named to three all-star games and owns the 2015 NL MVP award. He is 23, uses social media to share his interests with fans, has designed his owns shoes and hats, wears his flair openly on the field and believes in making baseball fun again. In addition to his Under Armour deal, Harper also sponsors Gatorade and New Era.
Baseball players don’t historically command the endorsement dollars attached to golfers, or tennis or basketball players. But Harper believes in bringing baseball to the forefront of attention and fashion. In February, Astros star shortstop Carlos Correa signed a five-year deal with adidas that, according to reports, was “record-setting.” Harper’s deal with Under Armour, the person familiar with the situation said, surpasses that one. The Nationals’ right fielder even topped Alex Rodriguez’s old deal with Nike from last decade that paid him $1 million a year.
Harper has his own logo with Under Armour and recently debuted a “Harper One” line of baseball cleats that will be available for sale beginning July 15. The company said Harper will continue to play a central role in their marketing campaigns and their casual clothing line, too. Under Armour also has deals with other top young stars such as Warriors star guard and reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry, NFL MVP and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and PGA Tour Player of the Year Jordan Spieth.
“I’m proud to call Under Armour my family, and I know that together, we will achieve great things,” Harper said in an Under Armour statement. “Under Armour has been one of my biggest advocates since I began my professional journey, and I can’t wait to share what’s next with the fans.”
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