Under Armour

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Imagine playing in one of the biggest games of your life and being held back because of what your wearing underneath your gear. That's the way Kevin Plank felt in his football career always having to change underwear because it made him feel sluggish on the field.

Well in 1995 on the football field at Byrd Stadium, when Kevin Plank played for The University of Maryland, he became very frustrated with having to change his sweat soaked cotton undershirt four times a game. Such t-shirts, which weigh six-ounces dry, weigh between two and three pounds wet. "The difference between winning and losing is not a big margin," said Plank (http://www.jhunewsletter.com) When his playing days were done, he set out to New York's famous garment stores to sample fabrics and make a prototype of a t-shirt that wouldn't retain moisture. He found exactly what he was looking for and put it together. He gave his shiny tight shirts to former teammates at Maryland and friends in the NFL, and asked what they thought. Taking their advice, he went back to work and came up with a shirt made from a unique blend of micro fibers designed to wick moisture away from the body to the outside of the shirt keeping a player cool, dry and light.

Plank based his company in the basement of his grandmother's house in Washington, D.C. and eventually made his first team sale to Georgia Tech. By 1997, 12 NCAA Division 1-A teams and 10 NFL teams were wearing the gear, and Under Armour made its first appearance in the Super Bowl when the Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots. When this happened Plank moved his company headquarters to South Baltimore, and set up a manufacturing plant six blocks away. That year Under Armour developed five other product lines Cold Gear, Loose Gear, Turf Gear, All season Gear, and Street Gear to cover every climate and condition an athlete may face in a year. Plank had not only created a company, but a new industry of performance apparel.

In 1998,...
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