Case Detail

Case Summary

Under Armour: Creating and Growing a New Consumer Brand

Case Number: 5-316-503, Year Published: 2018

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Authors: Brian Sternthal; Prashant Malaviya

Key Concepts

Advertising, Branding, Campaign Analysis, Consumer Marketing, Growth Strategy, Marketing Communications, Marketing Strategy, Positioning, Product Development, Product Management, Social Media


The case traces the development of the Under Armour (UA) brand, product, and market growth under CEO and founder Kevin Plank from its inception in 1996 through 2016. UA provides a cohesive case study of how to launch and sustain a consumer brand even in the face of its third-party manufacturing approach, which gives its apparel no patentable design or fabric technologies. The case uses UA's brand and advertising development as a backdrop for the current pivotal issue of how to target women to sustain growth. UA's stated goal is to build a $1.9 billion women's business by 2019.

In laying out UA's growth and competitive moves, the case lets students analyze broadcast, social media, and other digital advertising campaigns in view of the company's brand development and strategic targeting. The case also highlights the importance of leveraging brand heritage and historical differentiation while respecting key nuances when extending into new markets (i.e., moving from a predominantly male-driven audience to female). It also allows an exploration of how to use consumer insight and broader cultural attitudes and trends to support extending a position into new markets.

Learning Objectives

After reading and analyzing the case, students will be able to: understand the strategic and tactical discipline required to create and sustain a consumer brand; examine advertising campaigns and assess alignment with their intended target and positioning; derive various advertising models based on an analysis of campaigns and their respective targeting goals; and make recommendations among models to plot the best growth path for a particular brand.

Number of Pages: 11

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Marketing

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Apparel

Organization Name: Under Armour

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Position: CEO

Decision Maker Gender: Male