Barely twenty years old, the new kid on the sports company block is Baltimore headquartered Under Armour, muscling in on the action of more seasoned sport's market competitors. UA, in shortened form, are now one of the top ten sport firms in global ratings – a bull of a performance that has other sports businesses looking over their shoulders.

 

Third quarter results for the company in 2015, show 28 per cent growth, the 20th successive quarter the company has recorded a 20 per cent or more increase. Data that has elevated Under Armour to one of the top ten sports companies by value in the world. They placed at number seven this year behind Reebok, Gatorade, Sky Sports, Adidas, ESPN and Nike.

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In a universe dominated by the likes of Nike and Adidas, English Premier League soccer club, Tottenham Hotspur, became the first to contract Under Armour to supply their uniforms for the 2015/16 season. It marked yet another milestone in the growth of the company started by Kevin Plank in 1996.

 

Plank founded Under Armour after becoming fed up with sweat- drenched T-shirts after two-a-day football training – he was University of Maryland special teams captain.

 

Working out of his grandmother's basement in Georgetown, Washington D.C., Plank set to work to design sports apparel which would keep athletes dry and comfortable while they trained or competed. Determined to put his new business on the map Plank worked tirelessly up and down the eastern seaboard securing $17,000 worth of orders from his first sale.

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By 1998 the company had moved out of Plank's grandmother's basement and into Baltimore. A year later and a lucky break as the company were signed to supply product for the Oliver Stone movie Any Given Sunday. Taking a huge risk, Plank took out an ad in the ESPN magazine on the basis that the movie would be a success. It was!

 

In November 18, 2005 Under Armour went public and was the first US initial public offering in five years to double on its first trading day. Five year later and revenues had quadrupled, the company having moved again, this time to an old soap building at Tide Point, Baltimore.

 

Under Armour's phenomenal growth shows no sign of slowing, and with a steadily growing reputation for scientifically designed sports gear that works, the future looks assured.

 

 

 

  #Fashion