When businesses in Bethesda form, they often do so thinking they will be able to work directly with their clients or customers and no one else. While a business may be able to do a majority of its work with its own clients and customers, there is almost always at least one other business with which the first business must work. When business work together, it is almost always under a contract.
The reason for a contract is that it provides individuals with concrete terms and limitations that dictate a relationship. While representatives of the different businesses may have been able to agree to terms at one point, if it is not written down and memorialized in contractual language, it is not inconceivable for the businesses to start to question or outright forget the terms of the agreement.
So, it was under contract that the University of Maryland Athletics Department has renewed its relationship with Under Armour for their sportswear needs. This is an extension of a previous contract and it is unclear if any of the terms have changed since the university and Baltimore company first entered into a contract in 2008. Under the last deal, Under Armour had to give the university at least $1.9 million in product each year.
Although nothing seems amiss between the university and Under Armour, should either party breach the terms of the contract, the party that did not breach could bring a lawsuit. This kind of litigation is incredibly common in the business world and one of the reasons why companies sign contracts in the first place: accountability to the agreement.
Source: Baltimore Business Journal, "Terps to wear Under Armour gear for another 10 years," Sarah Meehan, Dec. 27, 2013