Under Armour

Tonie Ong

Articles on Under Armour

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While many fashion brands have mastered athleisure, which is a high fashion and luxurious take on sportswear, only a select few have come up with actual functioning sportswear that is also luxurious. Only the retail giants like Nike, Adidas, Puma, and the like have really pushed the envelope in terms of catering specifically to athletes and athletic customers and giving them top of the line items for their sporty endeavors. These big names are known worldwide for having dominated the sportswear industry, which through the years, has become one of the most lucrative markets in retail. However, American-born brand Under Armour technically started the “functional-yet-luxurious” apparel basis all the others have adapted.

Today, Under Armour is one of the premier sportswear brands in the world. Their products are worn, proudly so, by some of the most renowned athletes from any sport—be it American football, basketball, tennis, and many others. Superstar athletes’ relationship with the company goes beyond the expected star-endorser type—they really count on Under Armour products to help them with their game. While the other sportswear retail giants focus on adding more prestige to their names, Under Armour has always focused on giving the best apparel and gear to people who love sports.

From the mind of an athlete

Kevin Plank Founder of Under Armour
Kevin Plank Founder of Under Armour

College football player-turned-entrepreneur Kevin Plank founded the company back in 1996, as a small trunk clothing label made from his grandmother’s basement. During college football days, Plank was always the sweatiest player on the field and decided to create his own garments that would enable him to stay dry while playing. He designed a t-shirt made out of moisture-wicking synthetic fiber, similar to the material of compression shorts, that allowed the wearer to stay cool and dry even during or after perspiring. He gave some of these shirts to his friends who went on to become NFL players, and with their endorsements, the brand gained prestige.

Soon, the likes of Nike and Adidas began creating and offering apparel with the same type of fabrication and techniques as Under Armour, giving more substance to the revolutionary idea Plank came up with in the late 1990’s. Simultaneously, the label was moving up the ranks in terms of their positioning in the retail business. As more and more star athletes wore and praised Under Armour, the more their sales skyrocketed. Soon, the brand was seen almost everywhere in media and entertainment, from magazine covers to being worn in movies such as “Any Given Day” and “The Replacements.”

Superstar sponsorships

Under Armour Store in Shanghai, China.
Under Armour Store in Shanghai, China. Photo: August_0802

Like with any other sportswear brand, the brand’s rise to fame and prestige relies heavily on its endorsers. Through the years, Under Armour has sponsored countless star athletes and high-ranking teams to further spread awareness for their brand and their moisture-wicking apparel. For example, the label provided the suits for the US National Speedskating team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. During that same year, they also announced their sponsorship for the University of Notre Dame’s various sports team, which are highly-regarded as having some of the best college athletes in the United States. One of the brand’s most famous faces is NBA player Stephen Curry, who has been the Association’s Most Valuable Player twice and is one of the most world-renowned athletes of this generation.


Under Armour toccoa shoe

Among their treasure trove of sportswear and athletic gear, Under Armour’s compression apparel remains to be some of the bestselling items. People are embracing such garments that keep them cool and comfortable even while doing strenuous activities. Through the years, their footwear has also gained some traction from their multitude of consumers, culminating in today’s sneakerhead culture. The label’s slick and stylish shoes have become staples for the modern “athleisure” wardrobe that is trending in fashion and youth culture nowadays. Their bestselling shoe line has also since been made up of countless collaborations with superstar athletes as well, such as professional wrestler and actor, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and NBA star player and two-time MVP Stephen Curry.

Collaboration with Marvel

One of the most successful film franchises ever is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Under Armour has partnered with Marvel comics to come up with a line of compression and moisture-wicking shirts printed with classic Marvel comics designs. Such apparels feature Captain America’s logo, Iron Man‘s suit, and Spiderman’s iconic costume, among others. The line is available for both men and women who want to look like their favorite superheroes while working out. In recent years, this collaborations has become one of their most successful endeavors and partnerships with non-athletic companies.

Under Armour succeeded in marrying functionality and fashion when it comes to sportswear. Their products are beloved more so for the comfort they provide rather than just the sleek and stylish look they give the wearer. A host of high profile athletes and celebrities have embraced the brand, lending their name and face to further promote it to a wider consumer audience. Some have even collaborated with label to come up with their own brand of sportswear and athletic gear. As the luxury goods game becomes dominated by sportswear and its companies, Under Armour is sure to be one of these brands that will come out on top.

Under Armour boutique at Pavilion Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Under Armour boutique at Pavilion Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: Kevin Khoo

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