Under Armour

Topics: Major League Baseball, Clothing, Sportswear Pages: 6 (2097 words) Published: May 13, 2012

Under Armour is a product line based company. Under Armour sells sports clothing and Accessories Company. The company is a supplier of a wide range of sportswear and casual apparel mainly focusing on hi-tech sportswear for professional athletes. The products of Under Armour Performance Apparel have become the top choice of athletes around the world to wear under their uniforms or during workouts. It all began with college football player Kevin Plank, who designed a T-shirt to draw sweat away from the body and into a lightweight microfiber fabric. Though moisture-wicking fabric was not a new concept, Plank's lingerie-feeling garments became a sensation when they kept football players at the University of Maryland, Georgia Tech, and Arizona State University dry and comfortable during practices and games. Under Armour has since conquered the sports world. Football, baseball, soccer, and hockey players, as well as NASCAR drivers and Olympians, wear its superior duds.

While other seniors were scouting post-graduation jobs, Plank was sure his product had a future. He visited New York City's famed garment district with 500 microfiber tees. Back in his grandmother's Washington, D.C. area house, Plank, along with fellow athlete Fulks, drew up some preliminary plans and decided how and where to market the revolutionary T-shirts. Plank graduated from the University of Maryland in May 1996. With cash advances from credit cards and his own savings from odd jobs such as cutting grass and selling roses on campus, Plank had funds totaling $40,000 and officially launched Under Armour Athletic Apparel.

Fortunately for the young entrepreneur, he had a multitude of friends and contacts throughout both the collegiate and professional sports leagues. He began to shop Under Armour to college sports teams around the country, packing samples in the trunk of his car. Georgia Tech was Under Armour's first customer and was soon followed by Arizona State University where friend Ryan Wood played. Wood, who Plank had met during his Fork Union days, went on to play for the Dallas Cowboys and later came on board as Under Armour's vice-president of sales. By the end of the company's first year, 500 Under Armour HeatGear (sweat-resistant) shirts had been sold in various styles (amounting to about $17,000 in sales), and Plank and Fulks (who became Under Armour's VP of production) set up offices in South Baltimore along with a manufacturing facility a few blocks away. The year 1998 proved pivotal for Under Armour; the company signed on as the official performance apparel supplier for the NFL's European teams and moved into a new 5,000-square-foot facility during the summer. Soon after, Plank sent samples of Under Armour to a Los Angeles casting director, after a friend told him about tryouts for a new football movie to be distributed by Warner Bros. The film, called Any Given Sunday, was being directed by Oliver Stone and starred Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, and Jamie Fox. The company providing the wardrobe for Any Given Sunday was Sports Robe, which took an immediate liking to the Under Armour garments and used them in the film. Sports Robe also signed Under Armour to supply garments for another football-themed major motion picture called The Replacements, starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman, also produced by Warner Bros. Filming for The Replacements took place in Baltimore in PSINet Stadium where the Baltimore Ravens played, and it just so happened that Under Armour's headquarters was located across the street. When the movies were released, Under Armour's virtually unknown logo was prominently displayed in several scenes and immediately boosted sales. The same was true when Under Armour signed with Eastbay and became the catalogue giant's fastest selling "soft" goods product line. At century's end, three-year-old Under Armour had sold more than 250,000 garments, outfitted eight Major League Baseball teams, almost two dozen NFL teams,...
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