To think that Under Armour founder Kevin Plank and co-founder Kip Fulks began their mission to invade the universe of athletic apparel in the basement of Plank’s grandmother is, in one word, ridiculous. That just goes to show that even billion dollar ideas have the humblest of beginnings.
Inspired by his spite for having to constantly change out of sweat drenched undershirts while serving as the special teams captain on the University of Maryland Football team, Kevin Plank devised the idea of making a tee out of a material that subdues moisture. In January of 2006, he officially claimed ownership of his idea and launched the product.
From day one, Under Armour caught on quickly with all things football as the company began developing various lines of moisture killing apparel for players to wear under their pads while going to battle on the gridiron. Whether games or practices were held in the super chill of snowy winter nights or under the scorching glare of the summer sun, it didn’t matter because UA had specifically engineered gear for it all.
In four short years, Under Armour has successfully carved its own niche in the world of major sports and next up on the itinerary, basketball. UA signed their first basketball star Brandon Jennings two years ago and he wore multiple prototype sneakers that were built for his every expense on the court during his first season in the NBA (2009-2010). However, it took Planks and Fulks a full NBA season of what was probably a propensity to get things done right to develop the initial line of sneakers to launch their company into the stratosphere of the game we all love with all our hearts.
Coming at us this October will be the all-new Under Armour Micro G high performance basketball shoe line. Micro G technology is UA’s very own and features a lightweight reactionary rebound foam cushioning system, which I believe will ultimately determine whether or not these kicks can hang with Nike’s Zoom Air or adidas’ Pure Motion setup. Look for Brandon Jennings to rock his sneakers, the Micro G Black Ice, this upcoming season.
“This is a much-anticipated and significant milestone for Under Armour as we continue to elevate our presence in the sport of basketball from grassroots to the elite level,” Gene McCarthy, senior vice president of footwear for Under Armour, said in a statement. “The collection provides a first taste of Under Armour’s commitment to building innovative basketball shoes that are lighter, sleeker and feature advanced technology.”
You can also spy on major college basketball programs such as Boston College, Texas Tech, South Florida, Maryland and Auburn for what will surely be a year long party of different colorways and cuts.
Will Under Armour be able to compete with the likes of Nike, adidas and Jordan Brand on the basketball planet? We’ll see if they can protect their house there too.
[Micro G Black ice: $110 – Micro G Fly: $90 – Micro G Lite: $100 – Micro G Blur: $90]
Check out this sick commercial featuring the young super talent, Brandon Jennings below!
source: solecollector.com, baltimore.bizjournals.com, wikipedia.org