I had a a great meeting this week with our good friends from Under Armour. I’ve been a long-time fan and supporter of this terrific sports retail brand. Plus, I love their products. I was a Nike guy for a long, long time but I’ve made the switch to Under Armour gear.
I was on a panel with the head of marketing for Under Armour, Steve Battista, a couple of years ago for an Ad Club of Washington, DC conference. I remember making an analogy three years ago and I think it continues to be true.
I compared Under Armour to where AOL was in ’95 when I started working for the company. We were the #3 online service, trailing the CompuServ and Prodigy, who were both owned by large corporate giants. Similarly, Under Armour is the underdog, much like we were, in their battle against Nike, adidas and Reebok.
And, just as AOL executed on its’ well-executed strategies back then — and clearly become a househould brand name and the leading online service in the world — Under Armour is executing well on their strategies and they’re continuing to become more and more of a major player in the sports retail space. They are the “it” brand with the high school and college age crowd.
I’ll be keenly watching their growth over the coming years as they continue to expand their product lines (they just launched their new line of running shoes) as well as global expansion into Asia, Europe and South America.
And, maybe someday we’ll be going over a case study in my Sports Marketing class about how Under Armour became the world’s leading sports retailer!