The rapid success of Under Armour is not a mistake. The company dominates the performance apparel category. According to Founder Kevin Plank, “The mission of Under Armour is to make technically advanced products that are engineered with superior fabric construction, to provide proven innovation available to the masses-aimed at making athletes perform better” (UnderArmour.com). Under Armour uses many marketing initiatives including athlete endorsement, product placement, and popular culture which illustrates the success of Under Armour.
Plank's initial plan was to produce a product that would help improve performance by regulating athletes' body temperature, allowing them to keep cool, dry, and light. The initial concept was simple: create a T-shirt that would be affordable, featherweight, moisture- wicking, helpful to every individual athlete's body type and training environment, and would fit skin tight so it would lie flat under straps and pads (Thomaselli, 2003).
Believing in his product, Plank felt that the Under Armour merchandise could be utilized as marketing agents themselves. To do this he needed to get his new style of performance T-shirts in the hands of the athletes that the product was meant for (McCracken, 1989). Plank filled his Ford Explorer with UA product and traveled to every Atlantic Coast Conference University to pitch his new product. Plank's first major contract was with Georgia Tech University that was shortly followed by a contract with the Pac-10's Arizona State University (Thomaselli, 2001).
With a marketing budget that was a fraction of that of its main competitors, Under Armour looked to leverage any opportunities it could to grow its brand awareness to its target market (Thomaselli, 2001). With the increase in non-traditional media, such as video games and Tivo, traditional 30-second TV inventory was not as effective as it has been in the past (Thomaselli, 2001). Product placement has grown...