It is no mean feat to take a simple idea and make it into a billion-dollar business. Kevin Plank has not only achieved this, but his company is now threatening the throne of Nike, the world’s biggest sports brand.
The founder and CEO of Under Armour chose to open his annual shareholders meeting by addressing the unrest that gripped Baltimore, the city where his company is headquartered, in April this year.
“Like many, [we are] deeply saddened by the events in our hometown, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Freddie Gray’s family”, Plank said. “But we are one Baltimore and we will work towards positive change with local leaders and groups, on and off the sports field, in the neighbourhoods that drive change throughout the city in any way that we can. The people of Baltimore are resilient and we’re going to be better because of all of this.”
The sentiments he shared about the protests gave an insight into the man behind the Under Armour brand. First and foremost, he has a deep sense of pride in being a lifelong resident of Maryland. After all, he and his five older brothers grew up in the small town of Kensington, just an hour’s drive away from the city that has been the focus of news headlines all around the world, which explains the affinity he has for those affected by the recent turbulence.