Under Armour, the American company specialized in high-performance sports underwear, has finalized a series of deals with master agents and distributors in Europe after the opening of its European head office in Amsterdam’s Olympic stadium earlier this year.
As previously reported, Elmar Klinge’s Main Sport was among the first partners to jump on board for Germany and Austria. He has been joined by SGA Vanneste for the Benelux and Sportbox for Italy. Under Armour has recently added Mno International as a master agent for the whole of Scandinavia and the Baltic States. The European roster is completed with Equation Performance for France.
The U.S. company’s products are expected to be sold in 400-500 stores throughout Europe by the end of this year, compared with only about 100 at the beginning of 2006. In the UK, JJB Sports has agreed to carry its line in 150 stores this Fall after a successful test at 20 locations this past Spring.
The company launched its first footwear range – cleated shoes for American football - in the USA last April. Under Armour is now envisaging an extension of its new footwear line from American football to baseball and golf. Footwear represented 19 percent of its sales in the 2nd quarter of this year, helping to boost total revenues for the period by 63.3 percent to $80.0 million. Net income grew by 32.3 percent to $2.4 million as compared to one year ago.
Meanwhile, Under Armour has become an authorized footwear supplier of the U.S. National Football League. Under the league’s rules, players may wear footwear of any brand they like, but they have to tape over the brand signs if the brand is not authorized. Until now only Reebok and Nike had such status at the NFL. Furthermore, Under Armou may now use the NFL and club logos to promote its footwear. Under Armour has strong ties with American football as Kevin Plank, its founder, is a former player of the University of Maryland team.