To be sure, Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA)’s “charged cotton” line of clothing surprised many people given the company’s old “Cotton is the enemy” slogan. Still, the fact remains that it should help Under Armour’s clothing to become more attractive to a wider audience without sacrificing its token innovation — charged cotton clothing apparently dries five times faster than conventional cotton and wicks moisture by interweaving cotton with Under Armour’s own synthetic fabrics.
Besides, as Plank also noted in an interview at the time with Forbes, “We looked into our customers’ closets and found 30 T-shirts. Four were synthetic, and the other 26 were cotton.”
On entering a land of giants
“Basketball is a great example where one company dominates 90 plus percent of the market. And what I can commit to you is that I’m not going to make predictions on exactly how much market share, but I would much rather be sitting where we are because it’s coming. We will take market share.”
Naturally, that “90 plus percent” dominator in the massive basketball shoe market is none other than NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) , a largely unmatched foe that pulled in more than $13 billion in footwear revenue in 2012 alone. In retrospect, that makes Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UA)’s $81 million in footwear revenue last year seem downright minuscule.
However, while many analysts have remained skeptical of Under Armour’s perceived slow launch into footwear, remember that the company is only just getting started. In fact, Plank recently reminded us that he has purposely remained cautious and methodical in entering the already-crowded athletic footwear space: In 2006, it introduced football cleats, followed by baseball cleats in 2007, training shoes in 2008, running shoes in 2009, and, finally, 2010 saw the launch of Under Armour’s first basketball shoe.
And that reminds me of the final quote…
On keeping your eye on the prize
“You will hear about us one day.”
In Under Armour’s early days, Plank used to include this simple statement on a Christmas card he would send to Nike founder Phil Night every year.
Call it what you will, but this is exactly the kind of confidence Plank has used to turn Under Armour into a multibillion-dollar business — and a business he obviously cares for deeply. In the end, I’m apt to believe betting against this loyal founding CEO is a terrible idea, and that’s just one of many reasons Under Amour remains one of my favorite long-term investments.
The article 5 Key Quotes From Under Armour’s CEO originally appeared on Fool.com is written by Steve Symington.
Fool contributor Steve Symington owns shares of Under Armour. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Nike and Under Armour.
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