By Barry Janoff
January 28, 2016: Thanks in large part to Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors are the defending NBA champs and en route to another historic season.
Thanks mainly to Stephen Curry, Under Armour's Q4 footwear net revenues increased 95% to $167 million from $86 million in the prior year's period.
Curry's signature line, the first for Under Armour, and multi-platform marketing support were not the only factors that drove the company's Q4 net revenues up 31% to $1.17 billion — the company's first $1 billion quarter — versus the previous Q4 while helping to boost full-year net revenues by 28% to $3.96 billion.
But it certainly was as effective as a Curry three-point shot for Under Armour in 2015 and moving forward.
"Our core business remains incredibly strong and our 31% net revenue growth in the fourth quarter is clear evidence of the continued expansion in the breadth and depth of our brand," Kevin Plank, chairman and CEO for Under Armour, said today (Jan. 28) during a Q4 conference call with analysts and media.
"We delivered our 25th consecutive quarter of more than 20% net revenues growth in our largest product category of apparel," said Plank. "Moreover, we continued to diversify our product offering and geographic reach, driving significant market share gains in key strategic areas like basketball footwear, while better meeting the needs of the global athlete with investments in our global Brand House stores and e-commerce sites helping drive 70% growth in international."
According to Plank, "Our footwear business, driven by the outstanding success of our signature Curry basketball line, will deliver new iterations of signature product across premium price points and distribution throughout the year. Our momentum in footwear extends across categories, including elevated running styles where we are doubling our offerings priced above $100."
In addition to Curry, Under Armour's most visible spokespersons include Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Andy Murray, Lindsey Vohn, Misty Copeland, Jordan Spieth, Buster Posey, Bryce Harper, Michael Phelps, recently signed Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and a line endorsed by Muhammad Ali.
This past September, Under Armour signed a multi-year extension with the NFL regarding the NFL Scouting Combine, a deal that dates back to 2009.
The agreement means that Under Armour maintains "exclusive rights as the NFL Scouting Combine's official apparel outfitter," and also will unveil an "expanded line of officially licensed Combine apparel for consumers."
Based on current visibility, Under Armour said it expects 2016 net revenues of approximately $4.95 billion, representing growth of 25% over 2015; and 2016 operating income of approximately $503 million, representing growth of 23% over 2015.
"In 2016 we celebrate our 20th year in business," said Plank. "We started by redefining the sports apparel industry through performance fabrics and today we are raising the bar for what athletes expect across all of their health & fitness needs."
"(As) we celebrate our 20th year in business . . . we are raising the bar for what athletes expect across all of their health & fitness needs."
Among Under Armour's moves beyond core sports and into tech-driven fitness solutions included the launch of its first smart shoe, SpeedForm Gemini 2 RE, and SpeedForm Slingshot, made with a 3D knitting process "to deliver incredible fit and feel."
In apparel, the Baltimore-based company launched HeatGear apparel cooling technologies, Microthread and CoolSwitch, while also lunveiling a proprietary ColdGear insulation story, "Reactor."
In Connected Fitness, Under Armour said it ended 2015 with "nearly 160 million unique registered users across our platform that logged nearly eight billion foods and two billion activities during the year."
Earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show, the company unveiled the UA Record, described as a digital dashboard app for health and fitness, in addition to a slate of new products led by Under Armour HealthBox, the world's first complete Connected Fitness system.
"With our continued investments across people, systems, and digital, we are confident in our ability to build upon this tremendous momentum, reinforcing our belief that we are just getting started in becoming the next great global brand," said Plank.
Under Armour Sales Swing Via Curry, Spieth
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