Under Armour’s Founder Makes A Passionate Defense Of Big Business

by MR Magazine Staff

When Kevin Plank launched Under Armour 20 years ago, he never dreamt his sports company would become the phenomenon it is today. “All I was thinking was, “I’m broke today and I need to have money in the bank tomorrow to make payroll and stay in business,” he recalls. Fast-forward: Under Armour is currently on track to make $5 billion in revenue this year. The business is growing at 25% a year, and now plays in the same league as much older and larger brands like Nike and Adidas. Plank has managed to lure some of the best athletes in the world—including NBA MVP Steph Curry, ballet dancer Misty Copeland, and pro golfer Jordan Spieth—to become brand ambassadors. At the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Plank pondered the growth of his company alongside Spieth, and Fast Company editor Robert Safian. Under Armour has transitioned from scrappy startup to big business. In the light of the looming election, and vexed conversations about the future of the U.S. economy, Plank makes the case that large, multinational companies like Under Armour are crucial to America’s success. “We’re talking about an election cycle in which there’s a movement towards a populist approach that says that corporate America is not a good thing,” he said. “It’s pretty unfair.” Read more at Fast Company.