Mendoza School of Business

Swarbrick talks about Under Armour deal with graduate business alums

Published: June 26, 2014 / Author: Christine Cox

A packed house of Mendoza graduate business
alumni learned about the business side of Irish sports when Notre Dame Athletics
Director Jack Swarbrick ’76 spoke about the University’s new partnership with
Under Armour. The ticketed event was held at the Chicago Commons on May 19.

“It was really interesting to see how
the skills from the MBA program relate directly to this deal and to learn what
the Athletics Department goes through in negotiating deals,” says organizer Holly
Hermes (MBA ’12). “He told some great stories about the negotiation process,
which was especially interesting because we took a negotiations class in the
MBA program. It was fascinating to apply it in this context. And it was
interesting to hear how he thought through his strategy.”

Dillon Murphy (MBA ’06) came up with
the idea to invite Swarbrick and was responsible for working out the details. “He
was a perfect fit,” Murphy says. “We figured the event would resonate with a
broader audience because everybody likes business and sports. Plus, Under
Armour is such a young brand; I thought it would really appeal to younger

Murphy is a fan of Under Armour as
well. “They’re doing things that are so different from a traditional company,”
he says. “They have a growth mentality without a cap for their expectations.
Under Armour is a great counterpoint to Notre Dame’s tradition and size.”

The 10-year shoe and apparel contract
begins July 1, replacing the University’s contract with adidas.

Hermes said the event gave momentum
to the Chicago graduate business alumni gatherings that she and a few others
have been coordinating this year. “Graduate students have a little bit of a
different experience than undergrads,” she says. “We want to keep a strong
connection and felt we needed some of our own events. These gatherings are
definitely striking a chord and filling a need.”

Two more events are being planned
this year. Those interested in attending future events can contact Hermes at or Murphy at


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