The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
Kevin Plank and the Rise of Under Armour

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec, 2018
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Entrepreneurship Development
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJED41812
Author Name : K B S Kumar and Indu Perepu
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Management Studies
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 12



The case captures the entrepreneurial initiatives, inventions and growth story of Kevin Plank, who, in 1996, founded the firm Under Armour, a sports apparels firm which went on to take on the bigwigs like Nike and Adidas. The case is about the genesis of Under Armour and the various entrepreneurial aspects like product innovation, product branding, marketing, communications, etc. Under Armour's Sweat Wicking Cleats were placed not as mere sports apparel, but promoted as a performance enhancer—which struck the right chord with the target audience. The branding and positioning strategies ranged from sponsoring tournaments, sporting in movies, viral marketing, etc. The case captures the various marketing and branding strategies that Plank adopted to promote Under Armour's brand and its products. The competition in the sports apparel industry was fierce and had immense potential to affect Under Armour. The case also captures the challenges Under Armour faced, viz., competition, lack of continuous innovation, lack of patenting, etc.


In 2010, Forbes had adjudged Kevin Plank (Plank), founder and CEO of the US-based sports apparel maker Under Armour (UA), as one of the 15 most powerful American chief executives aged under 40. Plank was also ranked 14 in the 40 under 40 list of Fortune.3 Plank, a footballer by passion and businessman by profession, had founded UA in 1996 with the groundbreaking idea of a sweat-wicking T-shirt that shook the sports apparel industry. The uniqueness of the product and the charisma of Plank earned UA early success.


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