SBD/January 6, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

UA Hopes Exposure Through U.S., Canada Olympic Teams Boosts Sales, Profits

Under Armour collaborated with Lockheed Martin on a new speedskating skin
Under Armour officials said that the brand's sponsorships of two U.S. teams and another from Canada at the Sochi Games could "pay off ... in stronger sales and profits," thanks to "the greatest exposure yet for Under Armour at any winter games," according to Lorraine Mirabella of the Baltimore SUN. UA Senior VP/Brand & Sports Marketing Matt Mirchin said, "We have more money to spend to grow outside North America, and the Olympics provides a great platform." The brand will "supply uniforms and training outfits to the U.S. speedskating, U.S. bobsled and skeleton, and Canada snowboard teams." The snowboard and speedskate athletes are "first-time sponsorships, and Under Armour hopes to make a splash by debuting an aerodynamic speedskating skin developed in partnership" with Lockheed Martin. UA officials said that the company "aimed to create the most aerodynamic speedskating suit possible" as part of its four-year agreement to supply all of the team's suits. UA Senior VP/Innovation Kevin Haley said that UA Founder, Chair & CEO Kevin Plank "came up with the idea of tapping into Lockheed Martin's engineering expertise to create a suit that could outperform all others." The company has "begun to show off most of the new uniforms" for the Sochi Games, but the speedskating suits "are being kept under wraps until later this month." The Jan. 15 unveiling "will be Under Armour's final Olympic-related marketing push." The reveal will "follow the final airing of the 'Under Armour Makes You Better' campaign, which was launched in November to highlight the Olympic team sponsorships and feature new cold-weather apparel." The spot has been shown "on air and online" on websites for ESPN and the NFL (BALTIMORESUN.com, 1/4).
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