SPORTS SPACE: Under Armour

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 03, 2015 04:39 PM
SPORTS SPACE: Under Armour
The UP Town Center branch of Under Armour is the biggest of all three branches.

For years, a couple of big name brands have been dominating the scene when it comes to athletic apparel. It has always been about the Swoosh, or the brand with the three stripes.

In recent years however, a new player has been making waves in the business, and is making themselves more and more popular among sports apparel consumers.

Among the notable endorsers of this brand are former UFC champion Georges St-Pierre, 2015 Masters winner Jordan Spieth, and a number of NBA players including Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings, and none other than 2014-2015 NBA MVP and champion Steph Curry.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re talking about Under Armour, one of the relatively newer brands to make an impact in sports apparel.

Under Armour came to life almost twenty years ago in Baltimore, Maryland, when founder and President Kevin Plank, a former collegiate football player, got tired of having to wring his cotton shirts dry during practice and wanted to develop a different type of fabric that could handle the sweat of training.

“It’s called Under Armour because it’s worn as a base layer.” Grupo Athletica retail head Ronnie Colmenar told ABS-CBN Sports.

Grupo Athletica brought Under Armour to the Philippines just last 2014, opening their first store in May. Just last April, Under Armour opened their third and biggest store to date, right in the heart of the UP Town Center in Katipunan.

The arrival of the brand in the country provides consumers a fresh new option for their athletic apparel needs, especially now that the Philippines has started becoming more and more health and fitness conscious.

“Initially, we have seen the growing trend towards fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Everywhere you go, there’s a resurgence of gyms, fitness boxes, and ergo, there will always be a demand for gear and apparel, footwear and accessories for getting fit, and that is the reason why the owners decided to bring in the brand in the Philippines, because there is such a huge market out here, and I think with the lifestyle going on right now, the focus is on health and fitness, we might as well jump and join the wagon, as they say, and make something out of it and contribute to the health and fitness lifestyle of the Filipino.”

While right now, the most popular draw for Under Armour is the Curry One, the signature sneaker for reigning NBA MVP Steph Curry, Colmenar says that the UA brand way more than just about basketball.

“In looking at the whole line of footwear, there is a very big opportunity for us to expand in terms of running and walking, because that’s where I think the majority of the population is getting into, plus the fact that it requires very little investment personally, for people to run, rather than engage in many other sports.”

Aside from footwear, Under Armour is also known for their compression shirts, which have become quite popular with athletes and gym-goers as well.

According to Colmenar, the Under Armour brand won’t be venturing into lifestyle apparel for now. Instead, the brand will be focusing on making Filipino athletes better.

“Under Armour is simply focusing on its DNA, performance and training. We wouldn’t wander or foray into lifestyle as of now, because we feel that there is such a big market for performance and training, and at the end of the day, we go back to the philosophy of Under Armour, that is enabling athletes to perform better.”

Colmenar also added that helping Filipinos become healthier has a bigger impact, not just in the field of sports or athletics. In the long run, they hope that the brand becomes synonymous with health, fitness, and progress.

“We want Under Armour to be synonymous to health and fitness in the sports gear category, particularly apparel footwear, and accessories. We wanted every Filipino to be able to look back and say Under Armour helped me become a better athlete, a fitter person, and probably a more productive member of society. So at the end of the day, Under Armour becomes closely linked with progress, with technology, and at the end of the day, being overall healthy in one’s career and in one’s life.”

 

FUN FACTS:

- The Under Armour logo is known as "the heartbeat". It's the combination of the letters "U" and "A" intertwined.

- No one on Under Armour's posters or installments are smiling. This serves as a reminder that the brand is made for those who work and train hard. 

 

Under Amour is available in UP Town Center, as well as in Bonifacio High Street and in SM Megamall.

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