Under Armour: Making Granny Proud
It’s 1996. Kevin Plank is in the middle of football practice. He’s getting after it and sweating like a pig. He wants to ditch the itchy eyes and extra water-weight. So Kevin decides to create a moisture-wicking shirt that can keep him dry during practice...
He pays a visit to a tailor. The tailor makes him a plain white shirt out of stretchy material. He tests it out during some drill work. It works like a charm. Kevin doesn’t waste any time. He goes all in. Using 5 maxed-out credit cards and the $15,000 in his savings, he starts Under Armour.
Kevin’s first year in business, he does $17,000 in sales by striking deals with Georgia Tech and a few other colleges. He also starts sending his ex-teammates (now NFL players) some shirts. Soon enough, Under Armour gains traction all over the league. So much, in fact, that an NFL exec wants to swing by the office to meet with him. But there’s a problem: Plank is posted up at Grandma’s house (the Price is Right was on 24/7 in the corner of the sales room). They decide to meet for lunch instead.
He gets the deal, and Under Armor makes its jump to the NFL. The rest is history.
In 5 years, it's a $5 million dollar company. They broke $1 billy in sales for the first time in 2010. During the pandemic, they struggled (seeing as there was a lack of sports). But one thing is for sure: Under Armour has come a long way from Grandma’s house.
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