SBD/Issue 174/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Under Armour To Enter Running Shoe Market In First Half Of '09

Under Armour To Begin
Selling Running Shoe In '09
Under Armour (UA) President & CEO Kevin Plank Thursday during the company's Investor Day at M&T Bank Stadium said that UA will "begin selling a running shoe during the first half of next year," according to Andrea Walker of the Baltimore SUN. The running shoe will "feature six styles, two for trail running and four for road running," and other styles will be "offered for people who pronate ... as well as those who are more stable runners." The shoe will cost $90-100. Plank said that UA will "target a consumer who doesn't necessarily have an allegiance to a particular brand." UA on May 3 launched its New Prototype cross trainer, and SportsOneSource indicated that the shoe "sold about 40[%] of its initial stock." Walker notes when UA launched the shoe the company was "criticized by analysts because it increased marketing at the expense of earnings, including millions spent on" an ad that debuted during Fox' coverage of Super Bowl XLII. Plank said of running a second such ad for the running shoe, "We don't intend to run a Super Bowl ad for this one. I promise." Meanwhile, Plank Thursday said that he "expects athletic shoes to eventually surpass apparel sales" (Baltimore SUN, 5/30). The BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL's Ryan Sharrow reported the running shoes will feature the new ad slogan, "Athletes Run." During the meeting, UA execs also "outlined plans to increase its market share in women's clothing and international sales, as well as enter the market for basketball apparel" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/29).

INVESTOR DAY: The SUN's Walker in a separate piece reports at UA's Investor Day the "name of an analyst or investor attending the event hung from each locker" at the stadium, while jerseys of teams that wear UA uniforms also hung from each locker. Some attendees "changed into [UA] workout gear and cross-trainer shoes and were led through a series of drills on the field." UA Senior VP/Brand Marketing Steve Battista: "We wanted them to see life behind the numbers, and this is the perfect environment" (Baltimore SUN, 5/30).

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