Under Armour- Challenging Nike in Sports Apparel

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Under Armour was founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, a former football player with the University of Maryland. Plank came up with the idea of using newly available moisture-wicking, polyester-blend fabrics to create next generation, tighter-fitting shirts and undergarments that would make it cooler and more comfortable to engage in strenuous activities during high temperature conditions. The company was originally named KP Sports and changed their name in 2005 when they went public. Plank believed that Under Armour’s potential for long-term growth was achievable due to the company’s ability to build an incredibly powerful brand in a relatively short time, significant opportunities to expand, and the fact that company was only in the early stages of establishing its brand and penetrating markets outside North America (Thompson, 2014). Industry and Market: Global sports and fitness clothing market is consisting of two segments sports apparel and fitness clothing. Each segment has different target audience, the intersection of leisurewear, sports apparel, fitness wear is steadily obscuring the difference between sportswear, fitness clothing, casual wear, and active wear, and this leads the changes in their target audience. There are various factors that derive the growth and demand of global sports and fitness clothing markets are changing lifestyle, increase in sports participation, rapidly increasing ageing but active population, growing popularity of adventure travelling, increasing number of women participation in sports and increasing internet usage. Some of the key players in this industry are Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Columbia Sportswear, and others. Under Armour provides customers an omni-channel shopping experience which is required by retail consumers in today's business environment. It offers products in a fast growing niche market at competitive prices.

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