Selected Under Armour advertising
Under Armour has emerged as one of the main challengers to sportswear's global elite of Nike, Adidas and Puma, and is currently the fast-growing in the sector. Revenues have more than doubled in three years to just under $4.0bn in 2015, and it overtook Adidas in 2014 to become the #2 sportswear brand in the US behind Nike. That lead was surrendered again in 2016 but competion with Adidas for the #2 spot remains neck-and-neck. It still generates more than 80% of revenues at home, though international sales are growing rapidly. Launched in 1996 by former athlete Kevin Plank, the company's original focus, as its name suggests, was to create weatherproof, sweatproof sports clothing to keep athletes dry and comfortable. It also now produces footwear, as well as wearables like the HealthBox fitness band, but sports apparel still generates more than 70% of revenues. The company has signed up a small but significant team of high-powered endorsement partners including actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, swimming champion Michael Phelps, ballerina Misty Copeland and supermodel Gisele Bundchen. Plank remains CEO and has a majority of voting shares. Adbrands does not currently offer a business profile for this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
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Capsule checked 6th April 2016
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Dec 2016: Under Armour scored its first professional league sponsorship in a 10-year partnership with Major League Baseball from 2020, supplying on-pitch and training apparel, and fan gear. The company already has endorsement partnerships with several individual MLB athletes.
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Aug 2015: Clever digital manipulation turns Droga5's new campaign for the fast-growing Under Armour sportswear brand into a real epic. Ballerina Misty Copeland, a previous star endorsement partner for the brand, returns, along with other ambassadors like golfer Jordan Spieth and the NBA's Steph Curry. Great music track too. It's always hard to cut through against big-budget rivals like Nike and Adidas, but UA is doing a fine job of keeping the big boys on their toes.
Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Jun 2015: Grand Prix in Cannes Lions' Cyber category was awarded to Droga5 for its "I Will What I Want" campaign, highlighting Under Armour's women's sportswear range. Interestingly, the award went specifically to the Gisele Bundchen campaign, not to the one featuring (less widely known) ballerina Misty Copeland, which actually got more media attention at the time last year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Feb 2014: Sports apparel group Under Armour faced a challenge to its reputation as a result of the dismal performance of the US speed-skating team at the Sochi Winter Olympics. They're on course to end the Games without a single medal, their worst result in more than 30 years. At least one skater blamed this poor showing on brand new high-tech suits produced by team sponsor Under Armour. These are designed to be considerably more aerodynamic than any previous costumes, but crucially they were not tested in competition before the Games for fear of alerting rivals. As a result, some of the athletes themselves soon came to believe that the suits were actually slowing them down on the ice. Yet a switch to a previous suit, also by Under Armour, has made no difference to the medal drought. Under Armour maintains that the new suits gave the team the best possible chance of victory, and it was backed this morning by the US Olympic Committee, which confirmed that it does not believe the suits to be at fault.
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