Under Armour: Creating and Growing a New Consumer Brand
The case traces the development of the Under Armour (UA) brand, product, and market growth under CEO and founder Kevin Plank from its inception in 1996 through 2016. UA provides a cohesive case study of how to launch and sustain a consumer brand even in the face of its third-party manufacturing approach, which gives its apparel no patentable design or fabric technologies. The case uses UA's brand and advertising development as a backdrop for the current pivotal issue of how to target women to sustain growth. UA's stated goal is to build a $1.9 billion women's business by 2019. In laying out UA's growth and competitive moves, the case lets students analyze broadcast, social media, and other digital advertising campaigns in view of the company's brand development and strategic targeting. The case also highlights the importance of leveraging brand heritage and historical differentiation while respecting key nuances when extending into new markets (i.e., moving from a predominantly male-driven audience to female). It also allows an exploration of how to use consumer insight and broader cultural attitudes and trends to support extending a position into new markets.