Under Armour showed its presence at the Magic tradeshow in Las Vegas with a seminar at Sourcing to talk the brand’s innovated vision for the future. Under Armour’s VP of material process and color innovation, Keith Hoover, lead the discussion with a focus on local production and how the brand has developed.
To start, Hoover welcomed attendees the same way Under Armour welcomes new employees — with a motivating video on how Under Armour came to be and where they are going. The video, starring actor Jeremy Piven, gave five keywords: underdog, passion, hometown, curiosity and will.
For the Baltimore-based company, the challenge is to move from “suck less every day” to “badass tomorrow.”
With “Project Glory,” Under Armour aims to make manufacturing local in the United States. The problem, though, Hoover said, is that in 2013, out of the 25 billion SME of apparel bought by Americans, only 2.5 percent was made in the U.S.
To break this cycle, brands needs “to invest in a new model that adopts or develops technology, optimizes the use of direct labor and encompasses a new sourcing strategy,” Hoover stated. Hence, Project Glory.
“Local-for-local manufacturing drives growth with better products and a more efficient supply chain,” said Hoover. He also discussed integrated design and manufacturing, adding that automation eliminates drudge labor and inefficiency, instead of exporting it.
“New manufacturing technology and processes create new business opportunities and new jobs,” Hoover said in his discussion.