Under Armour’s (UA) earnings release wasn’t just bad for Under Armour’s stock but the stocks of other athletic apparel makers and retailers, including but not limited to Nike (NKE), Foot Locker (FL), Finish Line (FINL), Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) and Lululemon Athletica (LULU).Never mind that Under Armour’s disappointment, if you can call it that, is over the spending it will have to do to boost growth, not any near-term disappointments. In fact, Citigroup’s Kate McShane and Corinna Van der Ghinst ultimately think that the numbers are good news for Foot Locker and Finish Line. They explain why:
The source link takes a moment to analyze the ongoing situation with Under Armour’s worst day ever. Click through and read why and how this setback is a good thing for Footlocker and other retailers working with the brand. Once you read that come back and read what I think about all of this and how Under Armour can actually model themselves after Nike in a way that will create a renewed interest in the brand.
Did you click and read it? Good, now let’s talk about fixing it.
The book Swoosh by JB Strasser analyzes one of the worst moments in the history of Nike. In the mid 80’s Nike had to lay off a lot of employees. Reebok was taking off and winning the aerobics movement and Nike was trying to figure out their next move. Their next move was to dump everything into Michael Jordan. The payoff led to a move that solidified Nike’s resurgence and this was carried farther by Bo Jackson and cross training, Andre Agassi in tennis and Charles Barkley not being a role model. In the early 90’s, within 6 years of Nike’s biggest crisis Nike was back and the rest is history.
Under Armour isn’t facing the type of situation Nike was in. They aren’t laying off employees, but with their stock finally being downgraded and the reality that they will have to spend more to compete against Nike and Adidas, Under Armour has one major move that they can play and I see that as doubling down on Steph Curry. Unfortunately the NBA season is starting so breaking Curry away to focus on marketing will be difficult, but at this moment UA’s marketing team needs to capture the imagination of the masses with a campaign that appeals to the underdog nature of the brand and I’m sure they have more than enough footage to do this.
To put it short, if Nike encountered a day like this they would be releasing a spot that talks about how falling short is the natural progression in becoming great. UA has to spend more on marketing to patch the wound of today’s projection announcement. I’ve been saying that the athletes of the brand should be the face of UAS and that Curry should be the primary focus of every marketing campaign. Cam Newton is struggling right now. Nike wouldn’t run from that. Nike would build a campaign around that and UA could create a Bo Jackson type of moment for cross training by doing so. They could also build a Barkley-type ad around Cam’s struggles. This is the moment to double down on story telling. The question is, will Under Armour do so?