Under Armour is switching gears from the field to the hardwood.
As basketball season approaches, the Baltimore-based brand unveiled its latest initiatives and products in the sports category for holiday ’12 on Wednesday at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“A lot of our properties are rooted in football, but we’re shifting toward basketball,” said Walker Jones, Under Armour senior director of marketing. “The category is extremely important to us, and that’s the area where we’re over-investing.”
With Under Armour now four years deep in the sport, Jones said the company is directing most of its resources in the category to the youth basketball circuit. The firm’s initiatives include grassroots basketball clinics for players 10-years old and above, as well as camps for competitors in the Amateur Athletic Union basketball organization.
“It’s all about mindshare,” Jones said. “We want to expose these young guys to our brand early in an authentic way so they’re familiar with us by the time they get to high school and the pros.”
As for product, Under Armour is also venturing in a new direction. For the first time, the company used its proprietary UA spine technology in a basketball shoe. David Dombrow, Under Armour senior creative director for footwear, said the company is leveraging its apparel DNA in footwear design.
“We want to own performance fit in footwear,” Dombrow said.
He added that the company now has a base for its basketball footwear. The two styles Under Armour launched this fall, the Spine BBall and the Charge BB, will be staples in the basketball collection in upcoming seasons.
“We’re going to evolve and focus these models, so you’re going to see a Spine 2, Spine 3 and so forth,” Dombrow said. “We’re not all over the place anymore.”