Kevin Plank Discusses Under Armour’s ‘Dumbest Competitors’ on Bloomberg

Under Armour's Kevin Plank
Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank.
Steve Eichner

Hot off announcing the acquisition of two new fitness apps, Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank was ready to defend the brand’s strategy and throw shade at athletic competitors Nike and Adidas.

Plank sat down with Bloomberg on Thursday to discuss Under Armour’s recent acquisition of fitness platforms Endmondo and MyFitnessPal (for a total of $560 million), but the talk soon turned to “the other guys.”

With the new digital platforms, would Plank and Under Armour change strategies — as well as business categories (from team sports to wellness) — after publicly missing out on Kevin Durant in 2014?

“Are you getting out of your old category, because Nike and Adidas is who you were focused on, and we just heard from the Adidas CEO they could sign between five and 500 athletes. What are you going to do, chase one another to spend more money?” asked Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle.

“Well, spending more money is no strategy. We’re not going to compete with our dumbest competitor, either,” Plank said. “They will chase the old model. And we’ve got some good competitors in our space, but we also see some things that are a bit irrational. …

“The race to the bottom is not the goal that we have. So we think in order to spend our money, you’ll see we’re going after the right assets, the appropriate assets.”

“But is Adidas your dumbest competitor?” Ruhle asked, to clarify.

You’ll have to watch the video to see Plank’s response as he admits he “[doesn’t] like them. And I don’t like the other guys, either!”

Wherever Under Armour chooses to expand, the CEO assured the brand’s focus remains the same: “Our goal is to sell more shirts and shoes, that is our core business.”