NGF TOP 100 BUSINESSES IN GOLF
Under Armour is a leading inventor, marketer, and distributor of branded performance athletic apparel, footwear, and accessories.
Founded in 1996, UA entered the golf apparel market in the early 2000s, but its golf business took off after the company signed Jordan Spieth at the beginning of 2013. At the end of Spieth’s first year with Under Armour, the brand’s golf product sales had almost tripled.
Under Armour’s innovative products are targeted to consumers with active lifestyles. 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.
“I am extremely proud of the powerful brand we have built, the global team that is our family, and the athletes we continue to serve by equipping and inspiring them to push beyond the boundaries of what is possible,” said founder Kevin Plank, who at the start of 2020 turned over CEO responsibilities to former President and COO Patrik Frisk.
While other golfers have joined UA’s stable, the company’s deepest relationship on the golf side is unquestionably with Spieth, a three-time major championship winner and former world No. 1.
Spieth is under contract with Under Armour through 2025, at which time he’ll be just 32. The company has leveraged his name with three generations of Spieth’s namesake shoe, the latest version of which was created with a focus on the biomechanics of the golf swing with help from the European Tour Performance Institute.
Golf is a relatively small portion of UA’s overall business — approximately $1.4 billion in revenue — that also includes categories such as basketball, training, running and outdoors.
Under Armour in 2018 introduced a 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 most 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.