Kevin Plank: From The Basement To A Global Brand

Kevin Plank was able to combine his love of sports with his passion for entrepreneurship by founding Under Armour in 1996. The Chief Executive Officer of the popular sports brand earned his BA in Business Administration in 1996 and his MBA at the University of Maryland. In the early 1990s, he was a walk-on for the football team at the University of Maryland and during this time he heard a lot of the other players complain about how sweaty their t-shirts were getting underneath all of their pads and safety equipment. Not only were these wet shirts uncomfortable, but they also caused problems in regards to regulating body temperature. Changing shirts every few minutes wasn’t an option as it took a lot of time to take off and then replace the uniforms and safety equipment. Kevin Plank realized that there really weren’t any better options than the ones that they were using and he set out to make one of his own.

Under Armour was not the only company that Kevin Plank has creating during his life. In college, he created a business around Valentine’s Day delivering flowers. While there was a rather short length of time that he had to perform well, he was able to clear around $17,000 working from his dorm room. His inspiration for the Under Armour brand came from the shorts made out of synthetic fabric that he wore during practice. They didn’t soak up sweat like the cotton t-shirts that they were all wearing did and Kevin Plank began wondering why they didn’t make shirts out of similar material.

After graduating, he decided to start making his idea into a reality and began working on a prototype. The undergarment that Kevin Plank designed was skin tight and made out of elastic, synthetic material that could wick away sweat instead of allowing it to soak into the material and cause discomfort. Instead of renting space for his office, he worked out of his grandma’s basement. Using his old teammates as test subjects, he was able to perfect his prototype and develop it into a successful business.

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