NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Founded in 1996, Kevin Plank’s Under Armour entered the golf apparel market in the early 2000s, signing its first PGA Tour player, Hunter Mahan, in 2003. Beyond the company’s vaunted base layers, the Under Armour golf line is primarily comprised of polo shirts, pants and shorts, outerwear, accessories, and shoes – for men, women and kids.
Under Armour’s golf business took off in earnest after the company signed Jordan Spieth at the beginning of 2013. By the end of that year, UA’s golf product sales had almost tripled.
Under Armour reported strong sales of golf apparel in 2017, with CEO Kevin Plank mentioning Spieth multiple times during conference calls about the company’s earnings, speaking to the strong storytelling moments the golfer delivers for the brand. The company has Spieth under contract through 2025, at which time he’ll be just 32.
UA leveraged Spieth’s name in 2017 with the launch of its first featured golf shoe — the Spieth One — and he toured the world as a pitchman. The Spieth Two was introduced in 2018. While other players have joined UA’s stable, the company’s deepest relationship on the golf side is unquestionably with Spieth.
During a corporate restructuring this past year, Under Armour moved from a structure focused on specific products such as shoes or apparel to one that’s organized into 11 categories, among them golf, basketball, training, running and outdoors.
Under Armour in 2018 introduced its new golf-specific eyewear, the UA Tuned golf lenses that are designed to provide heightened contrast and improved depth perception. Light-filtering characteristics improve visual performance, while the lens also features a deep rose tint to help better read greens, gauge distances and detect nuances in the terrain.
Under Armour signed Spieth at the age 19, before he had any status on the PGA Tour, and it’s a move that has certainly paid off.
Spieth has only ever worn Under Armour during his PGA Tour career, helping to elevate the Baltimore-based brand in a similar (albeit lesser) fashion to Tiger Woods and Nike in the late 1990s when that company pushed its way into the apparel space.