Under Armour and the Sports Apparel and Footwear Industry in 2008

Published 29 Mar 2011
Reference 5576
Topic Strategy
Industry Sporting Goods
Region North America
Length 34 page(s)
Language English

The case describes how founder Kevin Plank built a very successful sports apparel company in the US to compete with the likes of giants Nike and Adidas. It analyzes the business model of Under Armour, its expansion beyond apparel into sports shoes, where Nike and Adidas are much more focused, and beyond the US market where its brand recognition is not established. It asks why the stock price is down in spite of the company's excellent results.

Teaching objectives

The case studies the strategy of a niche company/upstart and its strategic options as it ventures closer to the markets dominated by established giants. It allows analysis of the profit and power dynamics in the supply chain, the different ways of competing in an industry, the building of resources and competencies to grow the business, and the process of choosing among alternative strategy options.

  • entrepreneurial start-up
  • niche company
  • competiting against dominant players
  • core competences
  • product imitation
  • international expansion
  • building a new brand
  • expanding product scope
  • RD0311
  • AR2011
  • AR1011