Baltimore-based Under Amour Inc. CEO Kevin Plank said Wednesday that the retailer will be a $7.5 billion company by 2018, telling investors that its Q2 sales rose 29%.
That would mean that its $3.08 billion 2014 revenue would more than double in three years, and get the retailer closer to its rival, sportswear giant Nike, which sees $28 billion in annual revenue.
That hardly catches Under Armour up to Nike, but its healthy growth has already helped it pass Adidas in the U.S.
Under Armour likes its position of underdog, the type of player Americans have long loved to root for. Plank demonstrated quite a bit of swagger at the investors meeting Wednesday, but with good reason: his company is outpacing its rivals in growth and is finally racking up bigger names in sports to wear its gear.
The company has indeed seemed destined for greatness, a sensation bolstered by its early support of golfer Jordan Spieth, who wowed at this year’s Masters Tournament in April in Augusta and surprised many.
Under Armour has also pursued international sports and NCAA partnerships and has added to its roster of star athletes Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, Patriot quarterback great Tom Brady, Brady's wife, model Gisele Bündchen, L.A. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, and prima ballerina Misty Copeland, who was recently named the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre (and whose ad for Under Armour went viral last year and racked up awards), among others.
The sportswear space is a hugely successful one at the moment, attracting not just serious athletes and weekend warriors, but also normal folk who wear their gear even outside the gym. That will help propel Under Armour, though it bodes well for its competition as well. Still, it's nice to be a hot commodity in a hot category.
“The time has come for us to build a better house, not just a bad-ass house, which you can count on,” Plank said during the meeting with investors. “I’m taking the tank with me.”
Maybe Plank would like to give up that underdog position, after all.