COOL Karel, PALUMBO Joseph
Under Armour and the Sports Apparel and Footwear Industry in 2008
© 2011 INSEAD Case Study
The case describes how founder Kevin Plank built a very successful sports apparel company in the US to compete with the likes of giants Nike and Adidas. It analyzes the business model of Under Armour, its expansion beyond apparel into sports shoes, where Nike and Adidas are much more focused, and beyond the US market where its brand recognition is not established. It asks why the stock price is down in spite of the company's excellent results.
Pedagogical Objectives: The case studies the strategy of a niche company/upstart and its strategic options as it ventures closer to the markets dominated by established giants. It allows analysis of the profit and power dynamics in the supply chain, the different ways of competing in an industry, the building of resources and competencies to grow the business, and the process of choosing among alternative strategy options.