The House That Kevin Plank Built
Start writing a post
Student Life

The House That Kevin Plank Built

Under Armour's history and legacy.

25
The House That Kevin Plank Built
Rappler

Under Armour was founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, a student at the University of Maryland. Plank was on the University of Maryland's football team and he and his teammates often complained about their soggy T-shirts during practices. He couldn't find a solution to their problem on the market, so he decided to create one himself. Plank searched high and low for a material that would fit his sweat wicking and form fitting needs. He eventually came upon a stretchy, slinking fabric that he brought to a tailor and used to create prototypes for $400.

Plank took his new product back to his football team and used them to conduct trial runs. After realizing how functional and comfortable the shirts were, the football team fell in love and Plank realized that he had the potential for a huge market within the sports industry. He maximized the resources available to him and went all in to pursue his passion, maxing out his credit cards at $40,000 and taking out a small business loan for $250,000. In Under Armour's early stages, Plank also worked entirely from his grandmother's basement.

Without a sales team, Plank was forced to take on the duties of designer, marketer and salesman all on his own. He visited multiple universities and professional teams, where some of his former teammates were now playing, and capitalized on this opportunity by conducting demonstrations with his product. Plank was able to spread the gospel truth about his impressive new product. He saw a vision where he had the potential to monopolize the compression-wear market and he turned it into a reality.

Today, Under Armour dominates the compression-wear market with more than $200 million in annual sales. Under Armour has become the official supplier of compression apparel to Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer. Under Armour also sponsors the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, which serves as a showcase for some of the most talented high school football players in the nation, and they frequently engage in regular charitable contributions.

Under Armour's HQ is located in Maryland, which allows the company to always stay close to its roots, both literally and figuratively. Plank was forced to become an innovator as he and his teammates became uncomfortable due to their shapeless cotton tees. Plank’s creativity pushed him to search high and low for a material that would serve his needs. He employed critical thinking by understanding that he would need a revolutionary material in order to create a revolutionary product.

As a huge sports fan, I found it very interesting because of the performance-related aspect. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I found Plank’s story truly inspirational and motivational. If you want to be successful in this day and age, you have to be more of an innovator, as opposed to an inventor. Kevin Plank embodied this idea by identifying an issue and solving it. It’s also important to maximize whatever resources are available to you and maybe, just maybe, you too will have the opportunity to build one of the biggest and most popular companies in the world. Admittedly, Under Armour has had its missteps, the most recent of which involved Steph Curry's new shoes which look fit for a nursing home more so than a basketball court. However, make no mistake that Plank's company has had its fair share of success. Call them what you want, but you can't call them broke.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Chris Barbalis

One of the best things about summers in college is getting to go home. Yes, we work ungodly hours but at least we get to come back to our own bed and mom's cooking. I sat in my dorm back in May counting down the finals that I had left until I was able to go back to where I grew up. It's hard to think though that I'll never have the chance to count that down again.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

I Love You, Summer Love

Summer love isn't just for the summer this time.

1543

Ahhh, summer love.

Keep Reading... Show less

When in your life will you have the opportunity to live in a foreign country, to explore a new part of the world, not as a tourist? The answer is right now. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Do Millennials Suck Because Of Their Parents?


You, our parents, gave us the tools to become the entitled, lazy people the millennial generation is filled with.

6654
Do Millennials Suck Because Of Their Parents?
Unsplash

Baby boomers and older generations are constantly referring to millennials as entitled. Constantly claiming that we have been babied and handed everything; we lack morals and work ethic. We are unable to hold conversations because we don't know how to pull ourselves away from a screen, and we are self-absorbed. In reality, some of this may be true. But you made us this way.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

My (Mis)adventures In Online Dating

A/S/L? Cupid get lost!

6771
pexels.com

Tinder, JDate, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, Chemistry.com, Match, Zoosk — just a few of the names of big companies that promise to get you a date/potential partner. I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I haven’t tried all of these options, because I have. I haven’t been on a date in over a year and I haven’t actually dated anyone in almost two and a half years. Now, I won’t lie, I’m not the prettiest color in the box, but aside from that, I do have plenty to offer. I have a brain that I use on the daily, I’m pretty freaking smart and I’ve been told that I’m funny in the form of my total sarcasm. But alas, this isn’t a personals ad hoping that someone out there will see this and start sending me emails (but hey, if that happens, that’s OK too).

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments