In 2017, Plank has placed an added emphasis on seizing control of the active-technology market. In fact, Under Armour has invested $1 billion in companies which specialize in activity and diet-tracking mobile applications, Inc. Magazine reported. It’s all part of a vision Plank has to defeat Nike at its own game.
Here’s everything you need to know about Plank and Under Armour:
1. Plank Will Delivered a Keynote Address at CES 2017Plank will took the stage to deliver another keynote address January 6 at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. He also gave a keynote address at CES 2016, which highlighted Under Armour’s digital transformation efforts as clothing, wearables, apps and data continue to merge.
At last year’s CES, Plank was on stage alongside IBM Ginny Rometty and spoke about how technology continues to shape the way his company runs. Plank is all in on technology and the many ways it can incorporate the active lifestyle.
Plank’s keynote address at CES 2017 continued on that trend, as UA rolls out the year’s products design to make athletes better. He spoke about how tech companies have to make products “people don’t know they need” at the conference.
The high-tech pajamas are said to “create the world’s most advanced sleep system that actually rebuilds your body while you rest,” the product’s webpage says. The webpage says that print on the interior of the pajamas utilize “Far Infrared,” a type of energy which absorbs your body’s natural heat and reflects it back to your skin. It’s said to help your body recover faster, promotes better sleep, reduces inflammation and regulates cell metabolism:
Lastly, the lead Under Armour man gave an update to the company’s record-equipped running shoes, which measure muscle fatigue real-time and help you guide your workout intensity.
2. Plank Started Under Armour in his Grandma’s Basement
Plank had quite the story growing up. He was kicked out of high school after he got into an intoxicated fight with football players from Georgetown and played football for the University of Maryland.
Under Armour was started in 1996 by Plank in his grandma’s basement.
It all began with about $15,000, some fabric and an incredible vision to take over the apparel industry. Plank said in an interview with The Washington Post in 2014:
It was three floors. I was living upstairs, and the kitchen was up there. I had a sales office on the ground floor, which was essentially the dining room and living room. In the basement, we kept inventory. And in the corner of the sales office, we kept “The Price is Right” on the television.
It didn’t take long for his signature polyester products to take off. In just five years, Plank turned the things he began with in the basement into a $5 million company. The Under Armour founder also told The Washington Post in an interview that his idea began with the need for wicking sweat off athletes’ bodies.
I figured my own sweat, if I could get that off my body, and more importantly, the weight that stood behind it, that would help. So the idea was why doesn’t someone make a better alternative for a short-sleeve cotton t-shirt in the summer and a long-sleeve cotton t-shirt in the winter. It was so incredibly obvious to me at the time, wondering why no one had ever addressed this issue.
The popularity of his brand’s products took off, and he turned the company into one of the leader’s in the sports apparel industry.
3. Under Armour Reported Almost $5 Billion in Net RevenueAlthough Under Armour reported the sports apparel giant reported slower-than-average sales in October, there has been no questioning the growth it has experienced.
In that October 25 report, Under Armour announced its 26th straight quarter of 20 percent of more revenue growth and double-digit operating income. Its net income experienced growth that exceeded the company’s initial estimates.
In 2015, Under Armour overtook Adidas in the United States’ sportswear market, second behind Nike. Its partnerships with companies such as Kohl’s and long-term investments in organizations like Major League Baseball have worked out for Plank and his start-up company so far.
4. Plank’s Company has Been Endorsed by Champion Athletes
Like most sports apparel companies, Under Armour focuses a lot of attention on athlete endorsements. The well-researched strategy has helped the company emerge as a leader in sports because of the success of the athletes that endorse the brand.
According to Curry’s father, Dell, an awkward meeting with Nike reps prior to his record-breaking 2012-13 season made the decision to sign with Under Armour a lot easier. The Nike reps accidentally addressing Stephen as “Steph-on,” the moniker, of course, of Steve Urkel’s alter ego in Family Matters. If that wasn’t enough, a PowerPoint slide featured Kevin Durant‘s name, presumably left on by accident. Dell Curry said of the meeting:
I stopped paying attention after that
In addition to Curry’s endorsement, Under Armour has inked Tom Brady, his wife Gisele Bundchen, golfer Jordan Spieth, pitcher Clayton Kershaw, skier Lindsay Vonn, quarterback Cam Newton, swimmer Michael Phelps and many more.
5. Plank’s Net Worth is $2.5 Billion
Although it’s gone up and down throughout the years, Plank is currently worth $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. He is ranked number 222 on the Forbes 400 list, falling from number 145 in 2015. Forbes also ranks him as the 198th billionaire in the United States.
ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell tweeted in August that Plank’s net worth is $4 billion.