View Full Version : Kevin Plank creator of Under Armor

02-01-2008, 04:09 PM
In another post we were talking with James who is creating his own clothing line and then I came upon Kevin Plank. He created the company Under Armor. Kevin really has set the world on fire with his business and a lot of what he has done to promote his business, James can do to promote his.

Let's check out some of the interesting stories of how he got this company to be a $600 million dollar a year business.

Kevin Plank (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Plank) - In 1996 he founded Under Armour, a sports apparel brand. A football player with the University of Maryland who eventually became special teams captain for the Terrapins, Plank thought up the idea because he "got tired of having to change out of the sweat-soaked T-shirts he wore under his jersey, so he developed a type of moisture-wicking fabric for athletic performance"

Kevin had remembered hearing a story on how a hat company sent a hat to Mike Tyson and he wore it during an interview which brought them many orders! Great marketing idea!

How I Did It: Kevin Plank (http://www.inc.com/magazine/20031201/howididit.html) - The idea was to create a T-shirt that wouldn't hold moisture****more important, that wouldn't hold the moisture's weight. As I developed the prototype, I began to get samples out to a network of college and pro players I had access to. From high school and college, I knew guys like Jermaine Lewis and Frank Wychek and Eddie George, players who had gone on to play in the NFL. I remember reading about this small [apparel] company that sent Mike Tyson a hat, back in the early '90s. Out of nowhere, he put the hat on during a post-fight interview. These guys ended up getting orders for a quarter of a million dollars.

How fascinating is this! He didn't make the material, he just took the material that was being used for one product already on the market and applied it to another product. Ingenious!

Under Armour (http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/may2006/sb20060525_601534.htm) - Eleven years ago, Kevin A. Plank was a walk-on football player at the University of Maryland who relished throwing his body at hulking opponents. But he hated how the cotton T-shirts under his uniform got sopping wet with sweat or rain. By then, cycling outfits and football undershorts were made with moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics. Plank, a starter during kickoffs and punts, wondered why not gridiron T-shirts, too? He tore the content label off a pair of his wick-away shorts, bought the same material from a fabric store, and gave a tailor $460 to sew seven shirts. "I set out to build a better football undershirt," he says.

All Aspects Landscaping
02-02-2008, 01:17 AM
Thats awesome... honestly, that was the first idea i had.. I have a list of celebrity addresses that we are sending our sample out to when we get them made... figure if the paparazzi snaps a photo of someone wearing a Friction hat or shirt... dollar bills will fall from the heavens!! If you dont think this is possible, can you say Von Dutch? $75.00 for a trucker hat... I think mr VD is living a pretty lavish lifestyle for riding that gravy train for all of about 10 months!!

All Aspects Landscaping
02-02-2008, 01:18 AM
BTW steve... if Friction clothing every becomes a multi million dollar company... please dont post my ugly mug on the forum... lol

02-02-2008, 07:32 AM

There was another quote from the business week article that I thought was important to point out to you.

Quote[/b] ]I have a list of celebrity addresses that we are sending our sample out to when we get them made... figure if the paparazzi snaps a photo of someone wearing a Friction hat or shirt... dollar bills will fall from the heavens!!

NO INSTANT SUCCESS. Yet it didn't happen as fast as Plank originally expected. "At 23, I was probably the smartest guy in the world," he jokes. Several dozen players he knew from his post-high school year at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia or from the University of Maryland had made it to the National Football League. He figured he'd send them shirts, the money would roll in, and "I'd be on easy street in no time," he recalls. "But I learned early on [that] this is not about one blast of exposure or one person wearing the product."

Just knowing this might help you stick with it for the long run if you don't find immediate success as Plank didn't either.

All Aspects Landscaping
02-02-2008, 09:13 AM
thats why i keep stressing to myself that its just a hobby!!! http://www.gophergraphics.com/forum/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/newbie.gif

02-02-2008, 11:06 AM
Yeah but you never know!