Under Armour Case Study 2013 Dodge

Page 4 of 14 Intro - According to the company description provided to the NYSE, Under Armour Inc. hereinafter also referred to as UA, is engaged in designing, development, marketing and distribution of technologically advanced, branded performance products for men, women and youth. The Beginning- Founded in 1995 by Kevin A. Plank a passionate football player and then special team captain of special teams at University of Maryland, Under Armour started its production as a niche player providing men’s hi-performance apparel – mostly underwear at the beginning – intended for outdoor activities in any climate conditions. Early UA products were made with recently developed materials previously adopted for wetsuits and extreme alpine equipment by very specialized brands such as French Millet and Japanese Mizuno. UA extended the purpose of such hi-performance moist-wicking materials to popular U.S. sports and workout adopting futuristic design stressing the idea of “unstoppable”, strong/muscular, willful athletes, thus positioning its brands in a very innovative fashion. According to the purpose of its products, UA used very aggressive communication strategy and mottos – such as “protect this house” or “never detected always lethal” – which sound are more like war cries than promotional messages, paying particular attention to products design and fit. Even the company name and logo recall ideals of strength, endurance and fighting spirit. In terms of identification of products’ purpose, UA sent out very simple clear messages such as ColdGear, HeatGear, Tactical Gear. The introduction of fashionable Tactical Gear significantly reinforced the fascinating power of the brand to its originally narrow target audience. Such original UA niche player, focused strategy worked remarkably well because of the perfect mix of: outstanding, highly innovative, well-manufactured, intelligently designed products, unquestionably effective communication and promotion. In terms of promotion, during the first part of its history, due to its initially limited financial resources, Under Armour carry out campaigns featuring young promising athletes and partnered with second tier, genuine college teams and athletes stressing the concept of hard work and severe condition and being part of a team. Although the visibility of the brand was limited by company’s inability to recur to mass media, its first promotional strategy complemented by a genuine grounding with a grown set of local sport institutions, contributed to elevate UA products reputation as superior performance apparel supplier; not the ordinary

Case Analysis MGT 455- Hunt I. Current Situation Kevin Plank CEO and founder of Under Armour created a unique product that would be affordable, lightweight, and absorb moisture which gave the company a solid position in the industry. Plank made a better position for the company by naming the gear “performance apparel” instead of “sporting apparel.” As of 2012 UA had built an incredible and authentic brand in a short time span. This had allowed UA to grow in size, reputation, and even tap into markets where they had little or no presence. UA entered the market competing against two titans of the industry NIKE and Adidas. The global market for athletic footwear in 2012 was 65 billion, and sports apparel was 125 billion. Nike was the clear market leader; they had a share of 17 percent in footwear and 4.4 percent in sports apparel. (Arthur). UA had a problem with a small marketing budget at first. Since they lacked financial resources UA’s main position was aimed at developing its corporate brand image, use various marketing initiatives, and reach out to its target audience. 2012 relayed an increase in revenue which allowed an alignment with UA’s brand strategy rising above the market. To increase the reputation/size/growth UA took the initiatives of word of mouth marketing, popular culture, product placement, product seeding, and athlete endorsement. UA’s success of creating a unique product developed the brand itself. UA’s image and products are portrayed in a variety of digital forms. UA not only uses athletes to portray the products but movies such as Any Given Sunday, Million Dollar Baby and Dodge Ball. UA’s strategic product placement has paid off by using movies like Any Given Sunday it gave the product relevancy in the sporting nation; and even led Kevin Plank to place ads in ESPN magazine to capitalize on the exposure (resulted in 750,000 in sales). UA has chosen very carefully on whom to sponsor to keep their reputation afloat. It was a wise decision of UA to promote through a variety of partnerships/sponsorships and even sports. UA has signed on athletes Tom Brady, Arian Foster, Ray Lewis, Cam Newton, Bryce Harper, Brandon Jennings, Kemba Walker etc. The variety of sports they sponsor include but not limited to baseball, basketball, rugby, football, gymnastics, boxing, hockey, skating, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, swimming, tennis, and a slew of college teams. All of this has benefited the company’s current image/reputation which has only helped

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