Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Under Armour's Futue in Technology

In this article, Forbes spoke with Under Armor's CEO Kevin Plank about how he sees technology influencing not just Under Armour but also the entire retail industry. Although Under Armour makes 70% of its revenue in apparel, they have recently been investing billions of dollars in technology and have acquired three fitness apps and created their own fitness technology.

His first point was the fact that this year's Super Bowl was in Silicon Valley is a great indication of the direction that Under Armour and athletic apparel companies are moving towards. Each team in the NFL uses Microsoft tablets on the sidelines. Technology companies like Microsoft are expanding their markets, like athletics, to grow their business, just like Under Armour wants to grow their business and stay competitive by moving into new markets. Plank explains the scope and impact of technology today in a business sense, “What are we gonna do if Apple decides they’re going to make a shirt, or they’re going to make a shoe, and more importantly, why don’t we beat them to it?” Under Armour’s competitors aren’t just Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and other athletic apparel companies but also Apple, Google, etc. This is not because they have entered into the market of technology but because technology companies are entering their market. 

Plank noted that they’re not the only athletic apparel company, or company in general, that is investing in technological research. Companies in all fields recognize the importance of investing in technological research because their consumers’ lives are becoming more focused on technology. Consumers want two things from technology: convenience and information. Under Armour is striving to give their consumers both of these things by putting all the information that they need about their health in one product, “Health Box.” Health Box provides customers with a scale, a wristband, and a chestband, and all of the information recorded on these three devices are sent and can be tracked on Under Armour’s fitness apps: MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, and Endomondo. 

Not only are consumers constantly searching for more information but so is Under Armour. Fitness products, like Health Box, give athletic apparel companies increased information and a type of information that they have never received before. Under Armour can now track the health of their customers, giving them greater insight in to what their customers could want and need from Under Armour. This kind of data goes far beyond marketing research tests and surveys, and can change the way the industry works.

I feel that the article could have given readers more information about the success of the fitness technology that Under Armour has, if Plank feels that more of their revenue will be coming from technology than from apparel in the future, and how social media plays a part in this process.


  1. After reading your comments and analysis about this article, I agree with your views and opinions. Being someone who is interested in marketing, as well as who uses some of these Under Armour Apps, I would like to further analyze and comment on this new use of technology. The information and comments you provided about Under Armour’s competitors being not just sports industries but also companies like Apple and Microsoft, is definitely true due to companies expanding in order to keep up with growing consumer demands.
    Today’s top consumers, specifically the Millennial Generation and Generation Z, are technologically advanced and, therefore, companies must continue to advance in technology in order to meet the demands of their current and future consumers. Under Armour’s approach to meeting these demands, the creation of these intertwined applications, works to provide their consumers with easy to access information and personal data recording. The creation of these apps proves helpful for both their consumers, as well as for their own business.
    Because Under Armour can now track the health and fitness of their consumers, market researchers and analysts have access to new, useful data about their customers. These types of technology can give information like the most popular physical activities their customers are doing, which seasons or time of year their customers become more active, or even locations where their customers are more active than others. This type of information can be attained from these applications and then used to make inferences about their customers as a whole.
    One additional thing I believe is important is whether or not more jobs are becoming available at Under Armour and other athletic companies because they now need people skilled in information technology and computer systems.

  2. Personally, I think it is extremely intelligent of Under Armour to invest money in creating their own fitness technology. Every day that goes by, technologies are improving and people are becoming more reliant on technology to do and track almost everything. When facing competitors like Nike and Adidas, I feel Under Armour already has the edge on them when it comes to advancement and technology. But I also feel Under Armour needs to continue working hard to keep this edge because as time continues whichever company has more advanced technology is going to make the most profit. However, I feel Under Armour’s biggest threats right now are technology companies like Apple and Google. This is because when it comes to technology, those are the companies people historically have trusted the most.

    I think the the idea of putting all of a consumer’s information into one product called “Health Box” is very smart. Not only is technology becoming more advanced, but more and more people are using this technology to track their health. In addition, the fact that the devices included in Health Box (a scale, wristband, and chest band) are sent to Under Armour’s existing fitness apps is pure genius. Now consumers will be able to use the Health Box to make the Under Armor fitness apps more effective, or be encouraged to start using these apps if they had not in the past.

    In addition, since Health box provides more information on consumers than ever before, both the consumer and Under Armour benefit. Not only will Health Box itself increase profits for Under Armour, but Under Armour will now have more information on consumers to analyze. Therefore, Under Armour can now analyze the new information it has on its consumers and use this information to realize their patterns and habits and increase profits even more. Because Under Armour is already ahead of its fitness competitors like Nike and Adidas when it comes to technology, consumers will trust the quality of Health Box and I truly think Under Armour is going to benefit and grow greatly due to the sale of it.


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