Please provide the summary and recommendations for the Case Study: “Under Armour entered the basketball shoe market”. I am not able to add the whole case study here please check it on the google.

Company Background
Under Armour (UA) was founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, a former Maryland football player,
who began by selling compression clothing that could “wick” sweat away from the body to
college sports teams out of the trunk of his car. Plank was a football player at the University of
Maryland, and hated wearing cotton shirts to practice in the hot, humid Maryland climate.
Knowing that he would never be an NFL player, Plank devoted his efforts to starting a company
that could make a product that would be an improvement over cotton, in that it would not absorb
sweat and be much more functional and comfortable to wear. Once made, he started selling the
shirts to the lacrosse and football teams at the University of Maryland out of the trunk of his car.
In 1998, the football oriented movie “Any Given Sunday” was being filmed in Baltimore
where Under Armour is based. The producers of the movie were looking for a product that would
represent the athletic nature of the movie and be comfortable to wear during filming. Under
Armour agreed to provide products, and UA shirts were used throughout the filming and
appeared in the movie itself, resulting in national exposure for the brand. At about the same time,
ESPN was initiating a sports magazine and looking for advertisers. Plank called in his dozen or so
employees at the time, and said if they would agree to skip one pay check, UA could purchase a
full page ad in the new magazine, which they all agreed to do. The product placement and ESPN
The Magazine ad led to a dramatic increase in website traffic and sales, and helped jump start the
nascent company.
A similar situation arose in 2003. This time it was sports cable giant ESPN who came
calling, asking UA to be part of their new HBO series about football players called “Playmakers.”
ESPN thought that since everyone in locker rooms seemed to be wearing Under Armour, it would
be more realistic if the players in the movie were shown in UA clothing. At about this same time,
the original “We Must Protect This House” commercial featuring “Big E” (Eric Ogbogu), an NFL
football player, was released. The combination of the product placement in the series and the
commercial again led to yet another major gain in sales. Perhaps even more importantly, the
commercial immediately became immensely popular. Fans began holding up signs saying “We
must protect this house” at college and NFL football games and the tagline would be shown on
scoreboards during critical parts of games as a crowd prompt. David Letterman talked about the
commercials on his late night television show, and mentions by Oprah Winfrey led to the line
becoming part of the American lexicon. UA was off and running.
In 2005 Under Armour went public and the stock nearly doubled the first day it was
traded. Since becoming a public company, UA has had a compound annual growth rate of 33
percent, with sales reaching $856 million in fiscal 2009. The company derives most of its


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revenue from men’s and women’s apparel (76%), footwear (16%), accessories (4.1%) and license
revenue which includes international sales (3.9%). Figure 1 shows Under Armour’s sales growth
over the past five years as well as net revenues by product category.
Under Armour Marketing and Branding
Under Armour achieved success by focusing on niche markets many of the major athletic shoe
and apparel companies such as Nike, Adidas, and Rebook overlooked. The initial product was a
line of tight-fitting T-shirts made of a synthetic compression fabric- targeted to professional
athletes and fitness buffs, offering them a way to stay cool and dry during workouts and games.
The line has been expanded to serve a variety of sports and activities including include everything
from running suits to yoga pants. Under Armour became successful through strong product
positioning, quality products, and dynamic advertising. The company developed a unique brand
identity through its “Protect This House” TV advertising campaign. The commercials featured a
football squad huddled around Eric “Big E” Ogbogu, one of Kevin Plank’s former teammates at
the University of Maryland, who was playing for the Dallas Cowboys when the commercial was
shot. The spots show Ogbogu and a number of other well-conditioned athletes working out while
wearing Under Armour and end with him standing in the middle of a huddle of the players and
shouting “We must protect this house!” as if his life depended on it. The tagline has become a
symbol of what Under Armour stands for as a brand and the company continues to use it in much
of its advertising.
An important part of Under Armour’s marketing strategy is selling its products to high-
performing athletes and teams on the collegiate and professional levels. This strategy is executed
through collegiate sponsorships, individual athlete agreements and direct sales of products to
team equipment managers and athletes. Under Armour’s sports marketing program is an integral
part of its strategy as its provides exposure to consumers through a variety of media including
television, magazines, the Internet and sponsorships. For fans seeing the product live at sporting
events, the exposure helps establish authenticity for UA products. Under Armour is the official
outfitter of a number of Division I men’s and women’s collegiate athletic teams including
Auburn, Boston College, Texas Tech, Maryland, South Carolina, Utah, Hawaii and South
Florida. The company also has sponsorship agreements with individual athletes including skier
Lindsey Vonn (who won a gold medal in the 2010 Olympics), swimmer Michael Phelps (who
won a record 8 gold medals in the 2008 Olympics), UFC welter-weight champion Georges St-
Pierre, snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis, freestyle skier Jen Hudak, and many others. Under
Armour also has an impressive list of NFL players on its endorsement roster including Brandon
Jacobs, Ray Lewis, Devin Hester, Vernon Davis and Patrick Willis. In November of 2010 the


company announced a multiyear endorsement deal with New England Patriots quarterback Tom
Brady, which included an undisclosed financial stake in the company.

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