What is Underarmour's Marketing Strategy
In the first year of existence in 1996, the company “Under Armor” had a turnover of 17,000 USD. This year it should be $ 775,000,000. This would have to increase sales more than twentyfold to topple Nike from the throne as No. 1 in the sports equipment market, but the company's growth dynamics are impressive and even frightening for some. How can you explain the enormous success of the growth company in a highly competitive market?
In sport you can usually recognize the winner at the start. And so it was with “Under Armor”. Founder Kevin Plank recognized at the age of 23 as a football player at the University of Maryland that the cotton T-shirts under the armor quickly became soaked with sweat and therefore hung heavily on the body. He was looking for a sweat-permeable sports undershirt and couldn't find it. That is why he had such shirts made from a stretch fabric himself and, following the positive feedback from his fellow sportsmen, dared to take the entrepreneurial risk and founded his own company with USD 40,000 in credit card debt and company premises in his parents' basement.
The first large orders from university football teams gave encouragement. The big breakthrough came when professional NFL teams ordered the “undershirts” and the company's logo peeked out from the close-fitting collar under the top athletes' official jerseys and was clearly visible even on television broadcasts. With this, Plank and his company received a lot of advertising for free. The major sports outfitters had missed out on binding the top teams exclusively with regard to underwear. You should regret that quickly. Because Under Armor used the popularity under the armor to sell shoes and sports shirts.
In order to keep up the growth, Plank now wants to expand his company in Europe. Germany is of course one of the most important target markets. And since American football is not so popular here, Under Armor has now signed a sports equipment contract with the Hannover 96 football club. The club is still a gray mouse, but every entry into a new market is difficult. And in Europe, competitors learned quickly and extended the exclusivity agreements to include undershirts. In this respect I am curious whether the Americans will crash-land here (as many have already experienced before them) or whether they will find the way to break through.
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