SBD/January 28, 2011/People and Pop Culture

This Week's Newsmakers: Under Armour Hits The $1B Mark

THE DAILY each Friday offers our take on the performances over the past week of people and entities in sports business. Here are this week's newsmakers:

WIN: UNDER ARMOUR -- It's all smiles for Chair & CEO KEVIN PLANK, as the sportswear company generates $1B in revenue for the first time in FY '10, with profits for the full year at $68.5M. Plank says the new revenue mark allows the company to start "thinking much bigger," and UA wastes no time in doing so with the announcement of plans to enter the cotton T-shirt business this spring. The bold move could give UA some of the turf that Nike and other competitors currently have in the performance-wear market, and allow the company to expand beyond its traditional presence in the activewear market.

LOSE: ANDY GRAY -- The longtime soccer analyst is fired from his duties on Sky Sports in England after he made repeated sexist comments toward multiple females. Gray had also been used by ESPN and Fox Sports for soccer coverage in the U.S., and now it looks like both nets may need to seek a replacement for future telecasts. The comments by Gray also put into jeopardy his deal with EA Sports' FIFA series, which has used his voice as commentary for a number of years.

DRAW: HORNETS -- The franchise hits its attendance benchmark at New Orleans Arena, meaning at least one more season of basketball in the Crescent City. But things are far from rosy for the Hornets, as the NBA-owned team still lacks a local buyer and is struggling to attract new season-ticket holders. Hornets Chair JAC SPERLING also says securing more corporate sponsorships is a main objective for the club. And while Louisiana Gov. BOBBY JINDAL says that he would consider arena enhancements and amendments to the team's lease, he states that public funds will not be diverted to prop up the club.
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