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Under Armour Stock History: Everything Investors Need to Know

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Under Armour Stock History: Everything Investors Need to Know

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Under Armour Stock History: Everything Investors Need to Know

newsfeedback@fool.com (Brian Withers)

Aug 12, 2017 Updated 3 hrs ago

Under Armour Stock History: Everything Investors Need to Know

Kevin Plank founded the performance sports apparel company, Under Armour (NYSE: UA) (NYSE: UAA), on an idea that he had as a walk-on football player at the University of Maryland. The story goes that the cotton T-shirt Plank wore under his uniform would hold so much sweat, he felt it slowed him down. He was determined there had to be a better way. Over twenty years later, that idea has grown into a $5 billion global business that competes against industry giants Nike and Adidas.

Plank has grown Under Armour on grit, great brand marketing, and partnering with wholesale sports retailers. The business has stumbled as of late, partly due to what has made it successful in the past. Read on for a history of the company and how that plays into the situation the company finds itself in today.

The early years, humble and hungry

Kevin Plank attended Maryland University and earned a Bachelor's degree in business. Selling Valentine's day roses to his classmates gave Plank a taste for running his own business. His freshman year he sold 100 dozen roses, and by his senior year he had 50 employees and sold over 10 times the number roses.

Under Armour's 25,000 square foot Brand House store in Chicago. Image Source: Under Armour

After his successful senior year Valentine's day sale blitz, the 22-year-old Plank started to do research and development work on the T-shirt that launched his billion dollar business. He headed to the garment district of New York to learn all he could about making and selling clothing. He was able to make enough prototype T-shirts to send to his friends and former team mates who had made it to the NFL. He then packed up the rest of the samples in his car to visit the equipment managers of the southern Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) colleges to try to sell his T-shirts. Eventually, Plank got a call from the Georgia Tech equipment manager who ordered 350 shirts, and his business was off and running.

Building the brand

As word got out, about the company's great performing products customers would call and ask for products he didn't have: long sleeves or cold-weather gear. Plank would take the order and figure out how to deliver. Under Armour continued to capitalize on the word of mouth recommendations of Plank's growing network of NFL football players. So much so that the company was offered the license for NFL Europe for free. The company gained additional recognition with a prominent product placement in the 1999 movie, Any Given Sunday, and its first commercial with Plank's longtime friend and NFL linebacker, Eric Ogbogu, cheering his fellow teammates to "protect this house." Prominent athletes play a key role in marketing the company's products to this day.

As the Under Armour brand gained widespread recognition, Plank was able to grow his performance T-shirt business into a $281 million revenue, performance sports apparel machine by 2005. The company went public in November of that year.

Incredible growth...until 2016

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