Under Armour was founded by Kevin Plank, a 23-year-old former fullback on the University of Maryland’s football team, in 1996 from his grandmother’s basement in Washington, DC.
Plank got tired of changing out of his sweaty t-shirts and noticed that his compression shorts stayed dry under his uniform. After graduation he developed his first prototype of a shirt made of moisture-wicking synthetic fabric and gave it to his former teammates who had gone on to play for the NFL.
The brand began to take off when with contracts with Arizona State and North Carolina State Universities in 1996.
In 1999 Warner Brothers contacted Under Armour to outfit two of its movies: Any Given Sunday and The Replacements. Plank leveraged the release of the movies and strategically generated enough sales to finally put himself on the payroll.
Today Under Armour is a supplier of sport and casual apparel and footwear. The company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker UA. Under Armour has offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Canada, and Guangzhou, China. Worldwide headquarters are in Baltimore, Maryland. The company has 5,900 employees and had $1.83 billion in revenue in 2012.