How does Under Armour differentiate itself from the other leading sportswear brands?
Under Armour is unique in its foundation, it wasn’t in the immediate stretch that we were trying to figure out how we can make ourselves different, we were different from day one.
Entering the sporting goods market, the world wasn’t looking for another athletic brand, so Under Armour invented an entire category called ‘performance apparel’.
Adidas got into the industry with the invention of the football boot in 1954. Nike made the shoe for running. And Under Armour came in because we looked at apparel and said it should be better, athletes should expect more.
There’s more to performance than just thinking it can be improved through better footwear, so why shouldn’t we think about our apparel that way? Any product we make should be special, unique, innovative and different.
We continue to take things and put flags in the ground. Like our commitment to athleticism and being the best technical performance brand in the world. We make athletes better at every step.
We’re only 23 years old. This makes us us the youngest brand in the world to have set and broken records in our industry, and we’re just getting started.
How do UA choose its ambassadors?
Over the last few years, how you engage with athletes in general and how you influence has evolved. In the beginning there was a really heavy focus around team sports so that’s where we were rooted and that’s where we believed we would get all our authenticity from.
Around the world, there are various ways to think about how you can influence the consumer and what’s important to the consumer. We see it as a pyramid of team sports and athletes, we aimed for the top of this, which we considered ‘inspirational’.
We have certain types of influencers at the top. People like Michael Phelps – the greatest Olympian of all time. Or Tom Brady – best American football player of all time.
Then you move down a notch. This is where you get that personal trainer, the guy that’s working out at the gym or the college football quarterback. If you want to be effective as a brand you need to move within that entire pyramid.
Personal fitness and wellness have started to move more to Dubai. People here just want to make sure that they are feeling good and staying active.
We have evolved as a brand over the years. Today we think through the entire 24-hour journey for our consumer. We want to be there for them, not just when they’re training and competing, but every situation before and after.