One of the most famous sportswear brands in the USA and in the world is Under Armour, which has posited itself as “the originator of performance footwear, apparel and equipment” since 1996, when its founder, Kevin Plank, decided to establish his own company with a view to developing sport T-shirts to his own liking (Under Armour, 2014). Under Armour is one of my favorite brands, because its clothes and footwear are truly the best in terms of quality and design for going in for sports and just leading a healthy lifestyle with regular workouts.
Initially, the company was rather small and was located in a basement belonging to Plank’s grandmother. Afterwards, it gained popularity and grew significantly with attracting numerous famous athletes to participate in its ad campaigns. In 2010, the company reported more than $1 billion of annual revenue; thus, “almost quadrupling revenues in a five-year period” (Under Armour, 2014). Nowadays, the company targets markets all over the world with the USA, Europe, Japan, Canada, and China being its top priorities. For many years, the company’s motto had been “Cotton is the Enemy” until in 2011 it has developed its revolutionary Charged Cotton. Charged Cotton and Charged Cotton Storm may be deemed the innovative textile materials suitable for vigorous workout, as they dry very quickly and are water-resistant.
Under Armour is the brand I am passionate about for many reasons. First of all, its clothes and footwear are designed specifically for going in for sports and leading active lifestyle. I simply adore Under Armour Charged Cotton Storm, as this textile dries quickly and enables me not to worry about feeling uncomfortable or looking sweaty. Besides, this textile feels good on skin and does not irritate it if the skin is sensitive to synthetic fabrics. The design is also great and there is a wide range of colors and fits to choose from. Second, I like jogging on a regular basis, but finding comfortable shoes may sometimes become quite a challenge. However, UA Spine Venom Running Shoes are the ones for me when it comes to jogging due to flexible support and lightweight cushioning in addition to being stable and stylish. Third, I like the brand because it is socially responsible and supports the US army and initiatives relating to breast cancer. I find it absolutely respectful that such a large company tries to attract attention to the important issues in the society and contributes to social campaigns, which makes this company even more attractive for me as a consumer. Fourth, Under Armour has recently developed Armour39, which is a performance monitoring system measuring WILLPower. This system is entertaining and fun to work with. Moreover, it is really useful when I want to monitor my performance and record my achievements. Finally, I have gotten used to the goods of this brand and I see that their quality and design have only improved over the years. I am always looking forward to the releases of new collections and innovative products as they are usually worth their price. Besides, it is very easy and convenient to order UA products online and the UA customer service has never disappointed me. So far, my experience proves the Under Armour Mission, which is “Make All Athletes Better” (Under Armour, 2014). Personally, I have never had any problems with exchanging gear when I ordered it in a wrong size and the company has never refused to refund the gear 100% without asking for a reason.
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The company has a loyal customer base, which brings it regular revenues. Under Armour predominantly targets all kinds of athletes, active people with a keen interest in sport, and the youth. The latter segment of the customer base “which currently contributes around $220 million to the company’s revenues, is expected by the company to grow more than 100% to $470 million by 2016” (Forbes, 2013). The company’s reports and statements show that it not only successfully manages to retain its loyal customer base, but also significantly increases it every year. Advertising campaigns are slightly diversified with main focuses on professional athletes, young people, and simply active people. The company does not poses itself as the manufacturer of sports gear designed solely for professional athletes. On the contrary, it strives to target all segments of consumers interested in a healthy and active lifestyle, which is proved by the involvement of, for instance, models like Gisele Bundchen in the I WILL WHAT I WANT campaign (Under Armour, 2014). Loyalty of customers is preserved through the development and active promotion of various special performance tracking programs, social platforms, new designs, innovative textiles and accessories, as well as user-friendly website and superb customer support service. The company’s management has declared a goal “to make shopping online as easy and enjoyable as it is in a store” and it has succeeded in achieving it so far (Adobe Online Marketing Suite Success Story, 2011).
Nowadays, competition in the sportswear industry is extremely vigorous with brands competing for local and international markets and constantly developing innovative products with a view to retaining loyalty of their customer base and attracting new clients. Today, it is not enough for a brand in this industry to sell quality footwear, for instance, as customers have become demanding and search for the first-rate experience in all respects. The majority of the most successful brands launch various performance monitoring systems similar to Armour39, such as, for example, miCoach by Adidas. Under Armour has a lot of competitors, with Adidas and Nike being the most successful in this respect. All three companies have similar target audiences and basically the same range of gear, which differs only in design and some innovative textiles and forms. Therefore, the companies predominantly compete in terms of shopping experience and advertising campaigns. Nike proclaims that it strives to create a better world by “Making athletes faster, stronger, better with less impact.
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