Under Armour: Shoe Marketing Analysis

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Under Armour






In this paper, I will be explaining the marketing approaches that Under Armour shoe division is taking in competing against rivals competitors in the shoe division, its approach and initial take on expanding into the field, also some key factors in different marketing approaches and direction it’s heading in. I will be discussing concepts used regarding corporate image and brand management and integrated marketing communications, finally, researched articles and data in reference towards the marketing approach Under Armour has taken in the questions provided by the professor. 4A.  The market share of each running shoe manufacturer on the bottom of page 15 was generated in November, 2006.  Based on your research, why do you think the marketers from Under Armour, a company started in 1996 with tight financial resources, decided to enter the running shoe market and compete the Nike and New Balance?

All marketing is about effectively communicating product ideals or information to a target audience. Businesses cannot operate in every single market to satisfy every customer needs, instead a business targets a market of people most likely to be interested in their initial product. In this case, Under Amour did an in-depth research by using feedback, and analyzing their respected competitive marketing competition. First, they reviewed what their target audience wants and needs were and how they could support this. At first look, some companies held a dominant position in the foot ware department, but looking closer at their marketing ads, you can see that each company is representing a selected image and statement on their brand. Under Armour felt they could take away from both Nike and New Balance sales, by taking a different route with their marketing campaign and competing effectively against each brand. In addition, Under Armour already held a dominant brand in the –athletic gear department.-- Even if they were entering into a heavy competitive field, this market push played well into their overall sales and disruption.

Even by taking away a small percentage of sales in the foot ware department, Under Armour can still turn a profit and easily make this expansion, with their overall brand that is already established in the athletic department. Key factors like disruption, contracts, and channel power have already been forged with their initial original brand in the athletic gear—hence making this a worthwhile investment.

4B. Based on your research, how does Under Armour’s product, price, distribution, and promotions compare to Nike and New Balance in the running shoe market?  Fully explain your answer.
After researching all three companies, I really didn’t see a huge difference in the marketing mix, except a few key elements. Nike, being the leader of footwear, promotes their brand to all ages, and on a global scene they are a dominant force on the international market. 3

However, New Balance does not really have a strong marketing presence in the international foot ware scene, but do hold a strong US market presence and this also reflects Under Armour as well. A key difference is Under Armour’s main target is focusing on a younger generation, due to their biggest customer base is coming from a younger crowd and their international expansion. Another big problem that Under Armour has is their limited distributors, and going off of a good faith policy. For example, 31% of their sales came from Dicks Sporting Goods and Sports Authority. If any other company were to establish sales contracts with the main distributors of their product line, it could greatly affect Under Armour’s profit margin.

Another interesting note is on the distribution and E-Active marketing side. Under Armour is able to easily transition their brand in the e-commerce world. However, both Nike and New Balance focus mainly on brand loyalty, and...
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