SBD/May 4, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Kevin Plank Tells Under Armour Shareholders To Remain Bullish About Footwear

Plank (l) surprised Under Armour shareholders with Cam Newton (r) appearance
Under Armour Chair, President & CEO Kevin Plank yesterday told shareholders "to stay confident about the sportswear maker’s fledgling footwear lines and that growth is on the way," according to Ryan Sharrow of the BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Under Armour footwear sales dropped 7% in '10 to $127.2M as the company "tapped the brakes on expanding the existing business to focus on reinventing the sneaker lines." But Plank yesterday said, "We will win in footwear. It’s not ego talking. It’s what I see. We have great belief in what footwear will do for this company." He continued to "point to men’s, women’s, international expansion and direct-to-consumer sales as the company’s core growth drivers." Sharrow noted "in line with previous annual meetings, Under Armour also showed off new products, such as its Storm Cotton sweatshirt set to hit shelves later this year" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 5/3). In Baltimore, Andrea Walker notes Panthers QB Cam Newton, the No. 1 pick in last week's NFL Draft and a new Under Armour endorser, dropped by yesterday's shareholder meeting. Newton was in town to "shoot a television commercial to promote" the Storm Cotton shirt, a water-resistant product "designed to keep athletes dry during workouts." Under Armour plans to bring the shirt "to market in the fall." Newton said that prior to signing with Under Armour, he "visited Reebok, Adidas and other companies to see what they had to offer." But in the end, Under Armour "appealed to him most because he liked the company's vision for the future and appreciated that he could always reach Plank by phone" (Baltimore SUN, 5/4).
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