A Look Into Under Armour’s Retail Strategy & Innovation

Under Armour Logo.

By Students Danielle Weber, Jenna Sorenson, Megan Lund, Derek Hegna, Kelly Burkart, Justin Schlidt, Samantha Georgson, Greta Schmitz, Emily Vlasak, Emma Brandenburg, Salina Xiong, and Yi Liu

Under Armour entered the market in 1996 and changed the entire landscape for performance based athletic apparel. Kevin Plank, CEO and founder, began the company based on a revolutionary idea he formulated as the University of Maryland special teams captain. As an athlete, Plank recognized a need for a specific shirt to wear underneath athletic gear. Plank then began Under Armour in his grandmother’s basement. Today, Under Armour is a multibillion-dollar company that is viewed as a leader of innovation and trends within the athletic apparel industry. Susie McCabe, Senior Vice President of Global Retail, spoke to the Retail Leadership Symposium class on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. In her presentation, McCabe shared a glimpse of Under Armour’s retailing strategies for brick and mortar locations and goals the brand hopes to achieve in the near future.

McCabe’s presentation started off with a quote from the CEO Kevin Plank “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Throughout the presentation, students were able to identify the challenging and innovative culture that Under Armour encourages through its successful team members. With whiteboards in almost every room to encourage innovation, McCabe described the company culture as young, aggressive and hungry to “protect this house.”

Up against large competitors, McCabe clarified that it is important for Under Armour to continue to grow fast and capitalize on its major investments. To increase the number of stores, Under Armour is creating partners internationally to open brick and mortar locations. This will allow Under Armour to achieve growth fast, cut down on costs and develop greater channels of distribution. Within the next year, 75-80% of the new Under Armour stores that will open will be partner stores. McCabe also identified another growth strategy for Under Armour stating that they have invested $750 million in apps through the Connected Fitness Network.

Data is the new oil.

-Susie McCabe

Under Armour is looking to be on the front line of innovation for both athletic and wellness products and services.

Under Armour has created a winning team of over 14,000 teammates, including high profile athletes such as Steph Curry, Jordan Spieth and Tom Brady. Under Armour has also partnered with universities, such as here at UW-Madison. Under Armour is continuing to grow its brand and offer its consumers innovative and quality products.


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