Under Armour

Under Armour
Under Armour
Type Public
Traded as NYSEUA
Founded 1996
Headquarters Baltimore, Maryland
Area served Worldwide
Key people Kevin Plank (Founder/CEO)
Products Clothing, Footwear,
Balls, Accesories
Revenue increase US$856 million (FY 2009)[1]
Operating income increase US$85.3 million (FY 2009)[1]
Net income increase US$46.8 million (FY 2009)[1]
Total assets increase US$546 million (FY 2009)[2]
Total equity increase US$400 million (FY 2009)[2]
Employees 2200 (2008)[3]
Website www.underarmour.com

Under Armour is an American sports clothing and accessories company. The company is a supplier of a wide range of sportswear and casual apparel[4] mainly focusing on hi-tech sportswear for professional athletes. Under Armour began offering footwear in 2006.[5]



The company was founded on January 26, 1996 by Kevin Plank, a former University of Maryland special teams captain for the university football team. Plank and co-founder Jordan Lindgren, also a former University of Maryland Football player, began their business from Plank's grandmother's basement in Washington, DC.

Plank, who got tired of having to change out of the sweat-soaked T-shirts he wore under his jersey, noticed that his compression shorts stayed dry. This was the inspiration to make a T-shirt using moisture-wicking fabric for athletic performance.[6]

By 1996, Under Armour had generated $17,000 in revenue purely by word of mouth. In 1997, Plank had $100,000 in orders to fill and found a factory in Ohio to make the shirts. People began to take notice of the brand when a front page photo of USA Today featured Oakland Raiders quarterback Jeff George wearing an Under Armour mock turtleneck. Following that front page, Under Armour's first major sale came when an equipment manager from Georgia Tech asked Plank for 10 shirts. The deal with Georgia Tech opened the door to a contract with N.C. State. With positive reviews from players, word began to spread and orders began to increase. Under Armour first made a profit in 1998 and received its first big break in the 1999 Oliver Stone movie Any Given Sunday, in which Willie Beamen, played by Jamie Foxx, wore an Under Armour jockstrap. Plank sent samples of his products to the costume designer. Leveraging the release of Any Given Sunday, Plank purchased an ad in ESPN The Magazine. The ad generated close to $750,000 in sales, and 9 years after starting the company, Plank finally put himself on the payroll.


Under Armour's global headquarters is located in Baltimore, Maryland. Its European headquarters is located in Amsterdam's Olympic Stadium; additional offices are located in Denver, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Guangzhou.

Retail operations

An Under Armour hat

In late 2007, Under Armour opened its first retail location, at the Westfield Annapolis mall in Annapolis, Maryland. In May 2008, Under Armour also opened a larger 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) store at Westfield Fox Valley in Aurora, Illinois. Under Armour has opened several other stores in 2008. Under Armour recently opened their first store outside of North America. This is located in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is run and owned by First XV, the rugby store situated next door.


Teams and athletes that currently wear uniforms manufactured by Under Armour are:

American Football




Bob Erlich



Ice Hockey

Martial Arts

  • Canada Georges St-Pierre

Rugby Union



(+) Maryland is Under Armour's flagship athletic program.[8]

High Schools


On April 22, 2009, baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. formed an alliance under which the performance apparel, footwear, and equipment company would have significant presence at several venues and events under the auspices of Ripken Baseball, including providing uniforms for the minor league Aberdeen IronBirds and youth teams participating in the Cal Ripken World Series this summer.

Product recalls

On April 29, 2009, the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of all Under Armour brand athletic cups. The cups, which were manufactured in China, may break when hit, posing a risk of serious injury. They were sold from January 2006 through March 2009.[9]


  • 2008 Billie Award in Breakthrough and Innovation for Boom Boom Tap [10]


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