Earlier this week, Under Armour Inc. (NYSE:UA) presented at a Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) –sponsored retail conference, and laid out the plan that the company has for the next few years. Predictably, management is going to focus on growth both domestically and internationally. What is interesting for investors is the tack that Under Armour is going to take to achieve that growth: New products and new types of stores will make up the backbone of growth. On top of that, the company is working on a change in its product and consumer mix, in a bid to attract new customers.
Here’s a look at the new products that the company has in the pipeline, and how that’s going to help bring those customers in, along with a look at Under Armour’s international potential.
The future of sportswear
In my mind, Under Armour Inc. (NYSE:UA) and Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) are the most consistently innovative sportswear companies in the market right now. While other brands may release new products and have big splash ideas, no one is working as hard to change the way we dress for sports than these two. In this week’s presentation, Under Armour CFO Brad Dickerson highlighted the brand’s newest additions. The two that caught my eye were the Spine running shoe, and the new Armour39 line.
The Spine is notable more for investors than for athletes, as far as I can tell. While reviews of the line have been positive, the more important point is that it marks a bigger move into running for Under Armour Inc. (NYSE:UA). So far, the company has competed mainly in cleated shoes and, within that category, mainly in baseball and football. Dickerson estimated that the U.S. market for those shoes was about $500 million. That’s a great place to start, but it’s nowhere near the $6.9 billion estimated market for running shoes. The Spine line — ha! — will help Under Armour break into the bigger, higher margin running market.
The company also presented its upcoming Armour39 branding. While it isn’t on shelves yet, it’s already generating a good deal of talk among athletes and gadget geeks. The product will measure heart rate, calories burned, intensity, and a proprietary metric called WILLpower. While the target audience is high-performance athletes, I imagine the company will generate a great deal of positive press and name recognition. It’s also one more product that could be part of the company’s running line.