Armor was started in 1996 by Kevin Plank, a former college football player Ninth the University of Maryland. While playing football, he disliked wearing the cotton t-shirts that the players wore under their Jerseys. During practice, they would become soaked with sweat and were very uncomfortable. At the same time, moisture Nicking fabric was a newly innovative technology comprised of synthetic polyester fibers with a water-resistant coating. It was developed to wick away moisture from the body and speed up the evaporation process.
This helps to regulate the body’s temperature when body temperature rises and keeps the shirt dry and lighter than regular cotton shirts. Plank decided to use this technology to create tighter fitting shirts that would keep the athletes cooler and drier. Under Armor’s competitive advantage comes from their innovation and technology. They are considered pioneers in performance apparel and have built a very strong brand in a relatively short amount of time. Their apparel is designed to keep athletes cool, dry and light during a game, practice, or workout.
Despite this technology being copied by many ajar sportswear brands including Nikkei, Under Armor has a sustainable competitive advantage due to their continually evolving product lines. Besides shirts, they also make shorts, underwear, outerwear and gloves. They now have Heat Gear to wear when it’s hot, Coolidge to wear when it’ cold, and All Season Gear to wear En it’s not extremely hot or cold. Under Armor has a competitive advantage be because its brand is recognized for their wide product selection, high quality, attractive styling, and cutting-edge innovation.
Because they are recognized for their gig quality, they have the advantage of being successful with higher suggested retail prices than their competition. In order to keep their competitive advantage, they need to stay the course by constantly evolving and expanding their product line. Although Under Armor has had tremendous success in its early years of operation they face a couple of key problems in their near future. They have a very strong strategy to expand their offerings in variety of merchandise to include a variety of sports. This strategy is ideal because they will be able to appeal to a much wider argue market.
The challenge though will be to penetrate the new markets for sports like golf, baseball, basketball and others that they have not been in. Their main market when they were introduced into the world was football. This is a very specialized market considering mainly young males play football. By moving to offer options to many other sports though it will help them to solidify their business. This Nil be met with opposition though through their biggest competitor Nikkei. Nikkei already has established a huge brand that is probably one of the most recognizable ages in the sporting goods industry.
Another problem will be how to market to their new audience in an already heavily marketed audience. Nikkei has a strangle hold on the footwear industry with other competitors making noise like Rebook, Aids and New Balance. Their key to overcome this saturated market though will be to market to the professional athletes and develop a superior brand. By offering a higher quality brand and making professional athletes their target market it will make obtaining a bigger following much easier. Typically whatever brand an athlete