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You are required to write on a Sports Organisation/Brand of your choice, focusing on how the organization has built the sports brand.

1) Choose one sports brand (Under Armour) to analyze and validate your choice with the lecturer. (The sports brand "Under Armour" needs approval from the lecturer. I will inform accordingly}

2) The analysis of the brand should present the following components:

a. Strategic marketing – identity, segmentation/targeting, and positioning

b. Brand equity: For example - the main assets, level of awareness, associations, perceived quality, loyalty.

c. Outline in detail viable growth strategies for growing your chosen brand.

Brand Summary

Under Armour is the global level distributor of athletic footwear, accessories, and apparel. The company was started with the manufacturing of synthetic fibers and now has transformed as the global market competitor.

Under Armour was incorporated in 1996 by Kevin Plank, who was a former football player in the University of Maryland. The major activities of the organization are based on the domestic market. Since 2012, it has started to pay attention towards the international sports apparels market through sponsorship and campaign programs. The core product line o the company is moisture wicking clothes specially designed for the athletes of amateur and professional level. Along with this, the company is also engaged in designing and manufacturing the apparels for the customers who like to wear active apparels for other day-to-day activities (Anon., 2015).

In addition to this, Under Armour has recently launched health-related applications with the collaboration of the health sector using technological advancements. This report analyzes the segmentation, positioning, and brand equity of the organization along with the competition existed in the target market.

Under armor is a distributor and manufacturer of footwear, performance apparel, and sports accessories for children, women, and men. The organization uses moisture-wicking fabric in its products that are tailored in many styles and designs that can wear in almost all type of climates. The products of the company are sold worldwide in which North America contributes the major share. The distribution strategy includes both, retails channels and wholesaling of products. It apparels are used by the athletes of every age and at all levels while playing games around the world as well as by the customers preferring active lifestyles (Anon., 2014). 

Labour issues owing to the outsourcing of manufacture and production to developing or underdeveloped countries have continuously spoiled current activewear industry environment. There are questionable working conditions and red flags of violations of human rights. The government of UA has acquired all the manufacturers and producers following the quality and working conditions related rules and regulations. The recent increase in the prices of petroleum is also affecting the cost of production to the companies dependent on oil-based and microfiber technology (Jackson, et al., 2014).

Under Armour divides the market between the basis of age, gender, and climate. Different aged people use different products and this gives the rise in different demands. There are four categories on the basis of different age segments and Under Armour produces certain merchandise to serve each category. The four categories are

  • 0-10 years
  • 10-18 years
  • 18-30 years
  • 30 and above.

The first category constitutes only 10% of the total customers of the company due to the young age and low level of participation in athletics. The company attracts this age group by manufacturing fun printed and colorful apparels and footwear at lower prices.

For attracting the second age group, the organization sponsors national and international level sports camps to advertise and promote their products such as sports equipment, recreational clothes at low to medium cost as per the pricing of this segment (Anon., 2017).

Situational Analysis

The third category includes young active adults and college athletes who tend to consume high-quality accessories and athletic apparels to support the active and healthy lifestyle of a sportsperson. To deal with this group, the organization sponsors academic teams and try to sell its products at competitive rates with making the availability at athlete apparel stores and bookstores. These stores are easily accessible by the students and athletes.

People of the fourth category are already loyal to the brand and willing to pay high prices for the quality products of Under Armour. Thus, the company does not have to make any extra effort to attract the customers of this group (Csimarket, 2018).

After making segmentation on the basis of age, Under Armour classifies the market on the gender basis. Both females and males, contribute equally to the sales of Under Armour. For female customers, the organization design and manufacturers the products in fun colors and fashion oriented which are sold at high prices and with the alignment of other fashionable sportswear. In addition to this, female customers tend to wear the sportswear in a casual manner also. Thus, Under Armour manufacturer's yoga pants and other comfortable clothes that can be worn for the everyday purpose other than the time of playing or doing any sport related activity. To increase the attractiveness for female apparels and to support the breast cancer patients, the company is also promoting a new campaign named as ‘Power in Pink'.

For men, the company has products that are more masculine viable, durable, tight-fitting, comfortable and strong to wear and tear. They are also producing special and cleats footwear to increase the comfort level of the athletes.  To advertise these products, the company use muscular and tone models and bodybuilders which can help in providing the visual representation of the clothes and other accessories (McNew, 2016).

The product lines are designed to regulate the body temperature in either cold or hot climate. The organization is involved in designing a moisture-wicking fabric named as ‘HeatGear’ that is used to regulate the body temperature and sweat in hot climates. The use of this technology is the main reason behind the high prices of products provided by Under Armour. Under Armour has also worked to produce a line having the similar function to serve the customers during cold climates.

(Quamme, et al., 2014)

In sportswear, accessories and footwear industry, the market of UA is highly competitive having well-established brands like Adidas, Columbia Sportswear etc. Along with this, the market is also attracting new firms to invest in this industry. Adidas and Nike have worldwide brand recognition and greater resources in comparison to Under Armour.

Under Armour is also required to compete for floor space in various retail stores from the other competitors. Nike and Adidas have a wide global reach in comparison to Under Armour.

Nike

Europe, United States, Africa, and the Middle East, Latin America/ Asia Pacific.

Adidas

North America, Latin America, Emerging market of Europe, Greater China, Western Europe, and other Asian Markets.

Under Armour

The United States and Canada (94%), rest of the world (6%).

Nike

The individuals who want high quality and branded sportswear and footwear.

Adidas

Soccer and Track Athletes.

Under Armour

Athletes and players who want to increase their performance in their respective sport. (Withers, 2017)

Under Armour is positioned at the segment where it is neat to competition in the apparel sector because of its success and high sales. The products are high in function thus priced moderately. In the footwear industry, the position of Under Armour is lower and prices are high. This position reflects the company is lacking behind in sales and advertising its products (Anon., 2017).

Segmentation

A comprehensive study of main assets and inventory is the first steep to auditing the brand equity of the company, which gives the space to identify the current sources and overall health from an internal perspective. The main assets of the company in relation to brand equity are as follows:

The name of the organization represents the entire ecosystem and also links back to the vision of the company in strengthening the sportspersons and supporting their determinations'. It is the main asset of the company, which is aggressive and succinct in nature. The name is used in the marketing materials and it is abbreviated as UA which is used as a one-to-one substitute. The abbreviation also reflects the brand logo, which ensures seamless identification of the organization (Farjam & Hongyi, 2015).

The logo of UA is an artistic representation of the company's name. Due to the streamlines and compact nature of the logo, it can be applied to the products and material in an easy manner. When it is viewed from some distance or on any type of small product, it makes a distinct effect (Merchology, 2018).

The slogan of Under Armour is ‘I Will’ which was launched in 2013. It has become the base of the campaigns, advertisements, and promotions of the products. It shows the motivational spirit of the organization for the athletes and sportspersons.

Under Armour manufacturers several products in footwear, apparel, accessories and technology sector. All the products have a wide range of quality and prices. The company has divided all the products into four main segments named Apparel, Accessories, Footwear and Connected fitness. Apparels provides 71% of the total annual sales to the company while Connected fitness segments only provide 1% of total annual sales (Reuters, 2018).

Under Armour has a very effective and strong spokesperson program, which includes recruiting high performing sportspersons and athletes to represent the brand name of UA in the promotions, campaign, advertisements and even in their daily life.

Along with recruiting the athletes, UA has also various agreements of sponsorship with various college teams, schools, Olympic teams, and sports associations.

The international level athletes, especially from US, UK, and Canada, are well aware of the UA as many of the Global level games are sponsored by it. The company does not have many stores in the rest of the world and if it has then the advertising and promotion strategy is not so effective. This is the main reason because of which, UA is not as recognizable as Nike and Adidas.

UA is associated with the schools, colleges, and sports corporations to increase its presence in the target market. It also plays a major role as a sponsor at the time of Olympics and Commonwealth games in its home and working countries (Snipes, 2016).

It can be defined as the perception of the customers towards overall superiority and quality of a service or product in the context of the intended purpose as compared to the alternative available in the target market. In relation to UA, the perception of customers is very positive related to the quality of products. However, in the case of pricing, there are mixed perceptions because of the high prices as compared to the competitors (Saleem, et al., 2015)

Climate

Fitness brands are in the middle of the huge transformation into lifestyle brands as they are looking to build loyalty for the customers to increase the sales and revenue. They are providing the right gear to get the right shape by motivating the customers to become more active and fit physically and mentally. Similarly Under Armour is trying to create brand loyalty by taking a big step towards fitness application. It has acquired a number of famous fitness applications including MapMyRun and MyFitnessPal.

MyFitnessPal has more than a million registered customers tracking their daily nutrition, sleep cycles, and steps. Under Armour promoted its products with the help of these type of applications where a large number of customers can get the information about the same (Souki & Filho, 2008).

With the help of these applications, Under Armour is able to get and monitor the data which can help in delivering products faster and effective management of the supply chain to meet the emerging demands of the customers. This can be in form of reminding an athlete about the need for new shoes and so on. It allows the company to manage its business transactions in real time (Anon., 2018).

Under Armour is highly reliable in producing the innovative products to attract the customers. The segmentation strategy of the company shows the way of introducing the innovative products in the business.

Under Armour is focused on the development of its market share by expanding its business to the different regions of the United States. Although it is not operating at high rates in the rest of the worlds it has developed its presence in the US among the key market players, which is a step towards going global.

The penetration level is always high of Under Armour with the help of its cooperation’s and sponsorship in the programs for attracting the customers.

The organization is also working towards differentiation of its products which can be seen by the categories available for each and every age group of the customers (Schlossberg, 2015).

The majority of revenue is generated through wholesale channels which include regional and national sporting goods chains, departmental chains, speciality, and independent retailers, institutional departments, teams, and leagues. Along with this, in many countries, its products are sold to individual distributors.

Products are sold to the customers directly with the help of a network of factory house and in-house stores in Asia and North America. The factory house stores play an important role in managing the inventor in an efficient manner. Customers can experience first-hand brand setting and broader reach to the performance products with the help of these brand house stores (Anon., 2018).

  • On the basis of above discussion, it can be recommended that the organization needs to follow the market development strategy in an effective manner. It needs to enable the online shopping for its customers from all over the world. Along with the stores and in-house should be opened in the UK, UAE, and other important territories to increase the visibility and thus to increase the profitability of the brand.
  • It is also recommended that the management should adopt cost leadership strategy with the objective of maintaining low-profit margin and increasing consumer base. It would help the organization to attract the customers of every age.
  • The promotions and marketing programs should be increased in the countries where the company is going to have the stores in near future. It would help the management to prepare a customer base at the time of entering into a new market.

Conclusion

On the basis of above discussion, it can be concluded that Under Armour is a sports brand, which provided high-quality products and services into the limited part of the world. Its presence is limited up to some major countries of the world. The segmentation strategy of the organization is well structured and provides the base for the organization to manufacture the products as per the different identified segments. The position of UA is different in the two main segments including apparels and footwear. Further, the report also concludes that brand equity of UA can be reflected by the understanding of the brand name, associations, logo, sponsorships and perceived quality of products by the consumers. The strategies used by UA have been providing for understanding the basis of the position and segmentation. On the basis of the entire analysis, some recommendations have been provided that can be used by the management to improve the functions and visibility of the organization at the international level.  All the findings and information are derived from the authentic sources including the official website of the company, readings of newspapers and journal articles.

References

Anon., 2014. Under Armour Case Study. [Online]
Available at: https://robertdaigle.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/BowenDaigleDionValentine_UnderArmour_CaseStudy.pdf
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Anon., 2015. UNDER ARMOUR, INC.. [Online]
Available at: https://investor.underarmour.com/static-files/bb7921f0-b985-49b6-80ad-b992ba6b8cf8
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Anon., 2017. Market Segmentation – Under Armour. [Online]
Available at: https://ashleydembosz.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/market-segmentation-under-armour/
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Anon., 2017. Under Armour and Segmentation. [Online]
Available at: https://1baby2love3.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/under-armour-and-segmentation/
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Anon., 2018. Under Armour. [Online]
Available at: https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/ua-record
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Anon., 2018. Under Armour Marketing Mix. [Online]
Available at: https://www.mbaskool.com/marketing-mix/products/17310-under-armour.html
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Csimarket, 2018. Under Armour's. [Online]
Available at: https://csimarket.com/stocks/segments.php?code=UA
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Farjam, S. & Hongyi, X., 2015. Reviewing the Concept of Brand Equity and Evaluating ConsumerBased Based Brand Equity (CBBE) Models. International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration, 1(8), pp. 14-29.

Jackson, S., Day, A. & Mcree, M., 2014. SWOT Analysis Under Armour. [Online]
Available at: https://simoneljackson.weebly.com/uploads/2/4/1/6/24168353/swot_analysis__under_amour.pdf[Accessed 6 September 2018].

McNew, B. S., 2016. Under Armour Inc's Best Segment in 2016 So Far. [Online]
Available at: https://www.fool.com/investing/2016/08/18/under-armour-incs-best-segment-in-2016-so-far.aspx
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Merchology, 2018. CUSTOM & CORPORATE UNDER ARMOUR APPAREL. [Online]
Available at: https://www.merchology.com/pages/under-armour
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Miloch, K. S., Lee, J., Kraft, P. M. & Ratten, V., 2012. Click clack: examining the strategic and entrepreneurial brand vision of Under Armour. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, 4(1), pp. 42-57.

Quamme, C., Maurer, N., Westberry, J. & Landucci, E., 2014. Marketing Case Analysis: Under Armour. [Online]
Available at: https://underarmourcaseanalysis.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/ua-paper-final.pdf
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Reuters, 2018. Under Armour Inc (UA). [Online]
Available at: https://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/company-profile/UA
[Accessed 6 Septemebr 2018].

Saleem, A. et al., 2015. Product Perceived Quality and Purchase Intention with Consumer Satisfaction. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: E-Marketing, 15(1), pp. 21-28.

Schlossberg, M., 2015. Under Armour's underdog strategy to becoming the anti-Nike. [Online]
Available at: https://www.businessinsider.in/Under-Armours-underdog-strategy-to-becoming-the-anti-Nike/articleshow/48876700.cms
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Snipes, G., 2016. Under Armour Brand Audit for IMC 613 - Brand Equity. [Online]
Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/GeniferA/under-armour-brand-audit-for-imc-613-brand-equity
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

Souki, G. Q. & Filho, C. G., 2008. Perceived quality, satisfaction and customer loyalty: an empirical study in the mobile phones sector in Brazil. International Journal of Internet and Enterprise Management, 5(4), pp. 298-312.

Withers, B., 2017. Under the Hood of Under Armour's Growing Business Segment. [Online]
Available at: https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/08/11/under-the-hood-of-under-armours-growing-business-s.aspx
[Accessed 6 September 2018].

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My Assignment Help (2021) Under Armour's Essay On Sports Brand Building. [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/bma709-strategic-marketing-management/a-report-on-under-armour.html
[Accessed 29 May 2024].

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My Assignment Help. Under Armour's Essay On Sports Brand Building. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2021 [cited 29 May 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/bma709-strategic-marketing-management/a-report-on-under-armour.html.

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