Under Armour was founded in 1995 by Kevin Plank. A 23-year-old former special teams captain of the University of Maryland football team. The brand originally began business from his grandmother’s basement in Washington DC.
It was due to Planks sporting background that the brand was established. He noticed that the cotton T Shirts he and his teammates wore underneath their pads were always soaked with sweat making them become heavy.
Under Armour in the Making
After graduation Plank set out to design a superior T Shirt. One that stays light even in the worst heat. He began his creation in New York’s famous garment district for fabric samples. Plank went on to develop his first mock up, he then gave these to his Maryland teammates and friends who’d gone on to play for NFL. Using their feedback, he went back to work, quickly creating a new T Shirt built from microfibers that wicked moisture and kept athletes cool, dry and lightweight.
With his design, almost perfected, Plank needed funds to launch his clothing line. So he maxed out his credit cards to the amount of $40.000 and set up a company in his grandmothers basement in Washington DC.
Twelve months later he made his first sale to Georgia Tech’s football team. After this other major division 1 teams followed suit, along with two dozen NFL teams. This massive growth meant the company had to relocate to its headquarters in South Baltimore where it is now developing its famous gearlines which include @Heatgear, @Coldgear and @AllSeasonGear.
The Revolution of Under Armour
In 1999, Warner brothers contracted Under Armour to outfits for two upcoming football movies; Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday and The Replacements. This was a massive push for Under Armour and they delivered. Not long after in 2003, the brand launched its first television commercial.