For Kevin Plank, No Appeal in Athleisure

Athleisure is big these days. It is set to be a $350 billion market globally by 2020, with the U.S. alone accounting for $83 billion of that number. However, not everyone is rushing to get into the market. Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank has found no appeal in moving into the atheisure market. Instead, he intends for his multi-billion dollar sportswear company to focus on performance rather than expanding into the athleisure market. This announcement came as Under Armour is engaged in a turnaround. Sales in North America have been anemic during the past few years, and that is something that Kevin Plank is working to address.

While Kevin Plank does not want to move his company into the athleisure arena, there are other plans for the company’s future. A massive expansion is one part of that with the company going from 1,100 retail locations up to as many as 2,500 stores by the end of 2023. Unlike most of the existing stores which are outlets, the new retail locations are planned to be full-price. Another component of the turnaround is with adding value through innovative products.

Innovation was part of how Under Armour got its start more than two decades ago when frustration about the underwhelming performance of the sportswear he had been using during his days as a college football player drove a twenty-something Kevin Plank to develop a prototype for a shirt that would keep athletes dry. The plan is also to improve messaging for Under Armour. The goal with that is to make it a louder brand- helping it to better connect with customers. Part of connecting with customers can also be seen in the company’s first-part seller status on Amazon. Through that venue, the company is not only selling its wares to consumers but also gaining more insight into their purchasing behaviors.

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