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Under Armour was a disruptive innovator in the sports apparel industry by creating sports apparel using synthetic materials as an alternative to natural fibers, such as cotton.
This promise to increase athletic performance differentiated it from competing sports apparel companies, but rivals have since implemented synthetic materials into their product lines. Frustrated with having to repeatedly change his cotton shirt during practice, he envisioned a shirt whose materials allowed the perspiration to dry quickly, causing the athlete to be quicker, faster, and stronger as a result of less burdensome water weight.
He developed a shirt that used synthetic materials to handle perspiration better and tested the prototype with his own football team. After he graduated, Plank went to different universities trying to sell his product.
While Under Armour managed to develop an innovative and marketable product, their lack of resources is somewhat concerning.
In terms of physical resources, their suppliers are limited thereby decreasing their bargaining power. This results in lack of control in pricing, which often translates to lower profit margins. However, one argument against filing patents for their products was that despite their claim of authenticity, it would be easy for counterfeiters and replicators to circumvent the patent and deliver a similar looking product.
This challenges their future sustainability and is worrisome to investors. Nevertheless, one great resource that has had an immense effect on their operations was their investment in SAP software that greatly clarified logistics and distribution.
For instance, its reputation and popularity especially in the U. When examining the individual processes and behaviors that enable the company to achieve its level of success, it becomes apparent that leadership is a monumental factor. This combination style accurately exemplifies the highly esteemed theories of transformational, level-five, and entrepreneurial leadership.
In addition to providing the underlying vision for an endeavor with his idealized influence, the transformational leader inspires motivation through committing high expectations.
He also gives personal attention to his employees and treats them individually. Even as CEO, Plank still has personal relationships with retailers. Robbins and Judge characterize a Level-five Leader as someone who is fiercely ambitious and driven but whose ambition is directed toward his company rather than themselves.
Kevin Plank, as stated earlier, is ambitious for having starting Under Armour and enabling the company to grow to what it has today. Examples of his level-five leadership are especially noteworthy when observing the essential fifth dimension that distinguishes level-five leaders from others: Kevin Plank also practices an entrepreneurial leadership strategy described by highly acclaimed management expert Peter Drucker.
This risky strategy consists of creating a new market with the intention of always remaining the leader of it. This is precisely what Kevin Plank has done; while he created a market by coming up with the idea of a more efficient and better-performing material, his leadership and committed direction enabled Under Armour not only to manufacture new products, but also to dominate the competition.
This impressive type of leadership is rare and thus a costly-to-imitate core competency. One concern is the seasonality of their sales. Since their performance apparel is more applicable to sports that are played towards the end of the calendar such as football and basketball, their sales area weak during the beginning of the year.
Under Armour has attempted to address this by broadening their product offerings and increasing marketing towards baseball and other sports. In regards to demographics and sociocultural factors, Under Armour has exploited a growing opportunity in sports apparel for women as participation rates, popularity and intensity of female sports continues to increase.
Just like other companies though, Under Armour is vulnerable to economic fluctuations given the unnecessary, elastic demand for sports apparel. With an economic downturn in which disposable income decreases, one of the first categories consumers will begin cutting down in is sports apparel.
A large, yet uncertain opportunity exists in international expansion for Under Armour. While Under Armour was designed for American sports and thus built a core competency and understanding of this market, sports such as American football and basketball have limited popularity outside of this country.
They will need to build research and development competency to develop apparel that enhances sports in foreign countries, and improve marketing efforts in these sectors.Under Armour has focused a lot of its fuel in this area, and they have been remarkably successful.
Therefore, we estimate this area to be one of the company’s strongest functions – it is a core competency! Under Armour has focused a lot of its fuel in this area, and they have been remarkably successful. Therefore, we estimate this area to be one of the company’s strongest .
Under Armour Case Study Josh Arce Michael Fray Stephen Fray Ana Lopez Josh Silguero General Overview of Under Armour Under Armour was founded in by Kevin Plank, who formulated the idea of going back to the basics by simply creating a superior t-shirt and nothing more.
I think one of the strongest core competencies that Under Armour has is producing athletic apparel with unmatched quality.
Sure, Nike has good products, but everyone knows that Under Armour rules the tight-fitting, moisture-wicking athletic apparel industry/5(1). 2 Does Under Armour have any core competencies resource strengths or from MBA at Benedictine University95%(21). I think one of the strongest core competencies that Under Armour has is producing athletic apparel with unmatched quality.
Sure, Nike has good products, but everyone knows that Under Armour rules the tight-fitting, moisture-wicking athletic apparel industry/5(1).