Under Armour and leading talent agency IMG have joined forces and among other things, will begin creating a standard of measurement for high school athletes looking to play in college.
As we all know, college athletics is a huge business and many global brands have come out of that part of the campus eco-system. Nike and Gatorade are two examples (as is Under Armour).
Both sides of the recruiting equation (athletes and schools) spend countless time, effort and money trying to find the right fit of student-athlete to school/program. Below are some interesting snippets from the article by Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal (article via Baltimore Business Journal).
The Baltimore sportswear company and IMG are planning more than 100 global one- to three-day combines for high school athletes next year at which participants will be scored on a range of metrics, including physical attributes, mental stamina and sport-specific skills.
IMG is already a leader in training young athletes at its IMG Academies, and Under Armour will now be heavily involved with that Bradenton, Fla., facility, including supplying apparel, footwear and accessories.
The venture puts Under Armour’s (NYSE: UA) brand in front of young athletes and fits with the company’s performance-brand mission as it moves into new areas of the apparel business. IMG, meanwhile, as an established player in the training business, has benefits to gain by partnering with a youth-oriented brand.
The article then explains, “the new index will be called Combine360 and the two companies plan to announce the venture today. It is uncertain at the moment what name the combines will be branded under,” and that “there will be three types of combines under the Combine360 concept. One will test core physical attributes; the second will test sport-specific skills; and the third will test a wide range of elements such as mental toughness, nutrition and reactive times. At the end of the testing, the participant gets a score, something that IMG’s Pyne said will be the athletic equivalent of an SAT score.”
Like SATs, ACTs, and other standardized tests were controversial enough. It is fascinating watching as Under Armour stays close to its roots on the campus in order to strengthen its relationship with its customers and bring innovative products to them (students-athletes, their families, administrators, & coaches).