Innovation Is The Key For Under Armour

by Trefis Team
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Under Armour
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When it comes to Under Armour‘s (NYSE:UA) performance based apparel, its quality and continuous innovation remain its primary selling point. Its apparel is intended to enhance comfort and mobility as well as improve performance under all weather conditions. The use of moisture-wicking and other innovative fabrics such as Storm Cotton, Charged Cotton & ColdBlack helps the retailer create comfortable clothing to maximize high performance during physical activities. Apart from these innovative fabrics, Under Armour provides different fits for different seasons, thus ensuring variety for its customers.

We estimate that the apparel division contributes about 75% to the retailer’s revenues. [1]

See our full analysis for Under Armour

Innovative Fabrics to Improve Performance

Under Armour is focused on innovation to create better apparel for its customers. The retailer uses moisture-wicking fabrics that are engineered into many designs and styles, to suit nearly every climate. It launched Storm Cotton and Charged Cotton lines in 2011, which were two of the highest selling apparel categories for Under Armour. The retailer also launched ColdBlack in the first quarter of fiscal 2012, which is expected to be a major growth category going forward. These modifications have helped Under Armour in registering average revenue growth of about 25% over the first three quarters of fiscal 2012. [1]

  • Storm Cotton: Storm cotton is a water-repellent finish for cotton that protects the fabric from water spills, rain and snow, while maintaining the comfort of cotton. Water over this fabric takes shape of beads and rolls over without wetting it. [2]
  • Charged Cotton: Apparel made with charged cotton feel exactly like normal cotton but dry about five times faster. [3]
  • ColdBlack: ColdBlack is an apparel finishing technology that reflects heat rays and UV rays. This helps keep even dark colored clothes relatively cooler in the sun, thus resulting in less sweat. [4]
  • Moisture-Wicking fabric: This fabric absorbs moisture (sweat) from the surface of the skin and passes it to the apparel’s exterior, where it can evaporate. This keeps the user cool and comfortable during a variety of physical activities. [5]

These technologies add good appeal to Under Armour’s apparel and ensure their good performance. Moreover, given that Under Armour’s market share in the U.S. sports apparel market has been increasing since 2003, the retailer can leverage its innovation in order to further fuel its success. [6]

Different Fits For Different Seasons

Under Armour is focused on providing a wide variety in its apparel range. The retailer offers three primary fit types: compression (tight fit), fitted (athletic fit) and loose (relaxed). Their clothes not only attracts athletes, but also appeals to other customers with active lifestyle.

Under Armour also provides apparel for all seasons through its three gearlines i.e. HEATGEAR, COLDGEAR and ALLSEASONGEAR. All the three lines are extremely popular among professional athletes.

Our price estimate for Under Armour stands at $53, implying a premium of about 10% to the market price.

You can see our complete analysis for Under Armour here.

Notes:
  1. Under Armour’s SEC filings [] []
  2. Under Armour Charged Cotton Storm, Under Armour’s Youtube Channel, Aug 15 2011 []
  3. UA Charged Cotton vs. Ordinary Cotton: Literally See The Difference, Under Armour’s Youtube Channel, Mar 25 2011 []
  4. Under Armour ColdBlack, Under Armour []
  5. What is Moisture Wicking Fabric?, Wise GEEK []
  6. Under Armour Gets Serious, CNN Money, Oct 26 2011 []
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