In our exclusive interview Kevin Ross, SVP and EMEA Managing Director at Under Armour, discusses the brand’s role in leveraging sports for social impact. Ross elaborates on how Under Armour is committed to providing opportunities for young athletes to not only excel in their sports but also to succeed in various life paths. The conversation sheds light on the company’s initiatives and partnerships aimed at empowering youth and enhancing community well-being, illustrating Under Armour’s approach to corporate responsibility in the sports industry.

Kevin Ross, senior vice president, managing director of Under Armour EMEA

Source: Under Armour

Kevin Ross, senior vice president and managing director of Under Armour EMEA

How important is it that a brand like Under Armour takes a stand and shows engagement in society?
At Under Armour, we’re committed to offering similar opportunities to young athletes, providing them a platform to showcase their skills and explore various avenues. It’s about more than just the game; it’s about preparing them for life, equipping them with the tools to succeed in whatever path they choose.


Under Armour’s partnerships with Anthony Joshua, Antonio Rüdiger and Pedro Perro

How do you amplify this on a broader scale?
One way in which we’re seeking to inspire the next generation of athletes to fulfill their potential is through our partnerships with incredible talents such as Anthony Joshua, Antonio Rüdiger and, more recently, Pedro Porro.

Joining forces with talented athletes like Fermín López and Malick Thiaw, as well as Emily Fox, Jayde Riviera and Laura Freigang allows us to speak directly to our consumers on the world’s biggest sports stages.

This holistic approach underscores our dedication to not only fostering athletic talent but also supporting their personal growth and development.

Some brands or even retailers like Snipes pay already an impressive amount of their marketing budget for communities to improve health, well-being or sustainable matters. Which share does Under Armour spend here?
We measure our community engagement not by percentages but by the impact we create. Sport offers limitless opportunities essential for society – it instils in us the values of teamwork, leadership, accountability, and perseverance, fostering skills that empower young athletes in all aspects of life.


Under Armour with “Give Back” program

A group shot of Kevin Ross with the UA Next athletes

Source: Under Armour

Kevin Ross with the UA Next athletes

Could you give a few examples?
To create a meaningful impact, we have already launched several targeted initiatives. These include the “Give Back” program where our employees donate their time and we donate products, exemplify our commitment to making a significant difference. Specifically, through our UA Next program, we focus on providing opportunities for young athletes who might not have access to traditional sports academies. Starting in London, we are addressing the shortage of facilities and coaching by creating platforms that empower these young individuals in urban environments to pursue their sporting ambitions, striving to discover and nurture the next generation of talent.

Additionally, we collaborate with various global organisations such as Beyond Sport which brings about positive change through creating more opportunities for youth to engage in sports.


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