20 Things You Didn’t Know About Under Armour

Under Armour Kevin Plank And Stephen
Kevin Plank and Stephen Curry.
Courtesy of brand.

Discover fun facts about the athletic brand, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

1. Under Armour’s main waterfront campus, called the Tide Point, is in Baltimore and features old Procter & Gamble buildings named after its soap products.

2. Founder and CEO Kevin Plank began the business in his grandmother’s basement in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood.

3. Under Armour’s headquarters features train tracks that run through it. When a train is coming, you’ll often see employees speed-walking across the tracks to make their meetings.

4. UA’s headquarters is next to the Domino Sugar factory, where 14 percent of sugars ingested by Americans travels through. 

5. The headquarters has four different “bio walls.” These feature self-sustaining tropical plants that provide natural air purification.

6. Under Armour’s first product placement in a film was a jockstrap, and it was seen in the 1999 movie “Any Given Sunday.”

7. Baltimore is home to not only Under Armour, but three big-name athletes: Cal Ripken Jr., Ray Lewis and Michael Phelps. Their faces are displayed on water tanks on its campus.

Under Armour Campaign Michael PhelpsUnder Armour “Rule Yourself” campaign featuring Michael Phelps. Courtesy of brand.

8. Plank chose to include a “U” in “Armour” because he felt that the phone number 1-888-4ARMOUR was much more compelling than 1-888-44ARMOR.

9. Many Under Armour employees live across Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and commute by water taxi.

10. The Under Armour Connected Fitness headquarters in Austin, Texas, is inside the Seaholm Power building. It was built in 1958 but stopped generating power in 1989.

12. Under Armour’s chief digital officer, Robin Thurston, is a former pro cycler. He competed on the U.S. national junior cycling circuit in the 1980s. Ten years later, he became a professional cyclist and moved to Switzerland to join the Swiss Helvetica-Lugano team.

13. Collectively, UA’s employees speak more than 40 languages, including American Sign Language, Swedish, Telugu, Tagalog, Thai, Malay, Farsi, Hungarian, Afrikaans and Latvian.

11. Under Armour’s European headquarters are based in the Amsterdam Olympic Stadium, which was built for the 1928 Olympics.

I Will What I Want Misty CopelandMisty Copeland in Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign, 2014. Under Armour.

14. In 2000, Plank emptied every last cent out of Under Armour’s bank account — all employees volunteered to go without a paycheck for a few weeks — so the company could buy a half-page ad in ESPN The Magazine.

15. As of March 25, the percentage of UA employees working outside of the U.S. is 11 percent. Meanwhile, 70 percent of company employees are from the millennial generation.

16. In 2015, Under Armour employees volunteered more than 20,300 hours through its Give Back program. They also packed and provided in excess of 207,000 meals with multiple nonprofit partners and facilitated workouts for nearly 800 military, veterans and first responders.

17. Under Armour’s first patent was for a sports bra.

18. Plank likes to hold on to things: He still has the receipt for the company’s first sale. This led to the creation of an archives team that is dedicated to preserving and documenting Under Armour’s history.

19. Over the past five years, Under Armour has received more than 30,000 ideas through its Idea House portal. From that, it has invited back 10-15 inventors each year to participate in an annual innovation competition called Future Show.

20. Plank wore many hats in the beginning. On phone calls, he would be a salesman and tell customers he would get them a call with the CEO of the company, end the phone call, then call back a few minutes later as the CEO.

Under Armour Curry 2.5 Stephen CurryThe tonal blue and gold Under Armour Curry 2.5. Courtesy of Under Armour

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