Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Underneath It All

Kevin Plank grew up in Kensington Maryland in a family of 7.   As a child, Kevin was a football star and eventually ended up playing football at the University of Maryland.  At Maryland he was self-proclaimed the “sweatiest guy on the football field.”  Angered that cotton t-shirts were unable to stay dry and comfortable Kevin decided to search for a material that would pick up sweat and enhance his performance on the field. 

After graduating from Maryland in 1996 and countless testing he finally found the answer he was looking for and began Under Armour.  To gain awareness he passed out the shirts to his former teammates at Maryland who moved on to play pro.  Constantly send them more T-shirts he requested that they pass them out to other players in the locker room.

The results from the enhanced material of the shirts spoke for themselves and by 1999 Kevin’s big breakthrough came about when he put out an advertisement in ESPN The Magazine and sales shot through the roof.  Since his initial popularity Under Armour has not looked back passing the $1 billion revenue mark in 2010 and closing in on $3 billion today. 

From when Kevin Plank was a young child, everyone knew he would be an entrepreneur.  He was always coming up with money-making ideas and propositions.  He even made $20,000 running a Rose business during Valentines Day.  It took him multiple tries before he hit it big with Under Armour and it was his determination that kept him going.  I think it is amazing that Kevin took an every day hassle such as sweaty shirts, and turned it into the company that Under Armour is today. 

Under Armour is also a relatively new company especially when compared to Nike, which start in the 1960’s.  It really shows that not all the money-making ideas are taken yet and the next big billion-dollar idea is still out there.

As an athlete I am a big fan of Under Armour.  I also find myself to be a heavy sweater when I participate in physical activity and I can tell you that it is like night and day between Under Armour and cotton T-shirts.  Like Nike and other similar lines Under Armour is easy to market towards males- especially athletes.  However, Under Armour pulls away from the pack when it comes to females.  Their advertising strategy “I Will What I Want” put Under Armour in the lead when it comes to Woman. 

According to Collins and Amabile, Kevin would have the underlining motivation necessary to become a Big C creative thinker.  As Crutchfield stated “Greater creativity would result when a person was primarily intrinsically motivated to do a task.”  This motivation is what Kevin had.  When someone said no he wondered a way around it.  When he came across a problem he found a solution.  Kevin had the will to succeed and the heart never to give up and look where he is today.


1 comment:

  1. It is pretty crazy to think back to grade school and realize that under armor really did pop up overnight I remember from one football season to the next, under armor cleats went from non existent to being worn on every other players feet. It speaks volumes to how much the creator believed in his product.


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