MarketLine Blog

Spieth Masters win great news for Under Armour

Jordan Spieth’s record-laden charge to Masters victory has made front and back page news and Under Armour is basking in the 21 year old Texan’s reflective glory.

On his way to a joint tournament record 18 under par, Spieth broke record after record: best 36 and 54 hole scores in Masters history; most birdies ever recorded at one Masters; only man to ever reach 19 under par at The Masters; first wire-to-wire winner since 1976. The list goes on. If Spieth was the happiest man in the US on Sunday evening, then Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank was a close second. Why? Because Spieth achieved all that greatness plastered head-to-toe in Under Armour logos.

As outlined in the MarketLine case study ‘Under Armour, Inc.: High Growth Company with a Bright Future‘, the Baltimore-based performance apparel company decided to commit seriously to golf in 2013 and chose a then-19 year old Spieth to spearhead its charge.

Spieth had won the US Junior Amateur Championship in 2009 and 2011, making him only the second multiple winner alongside Tiger Woods. He had also played a PGA Tour event on an amateur exemption in 2010, finishing a very creditable 16th.

Recognizing a potential superstar, Under Armour signed Spieth to an exclusive endorsement contract that meant he would wear the company’s apparel, accessories (most notably headwear) and footwear. Such was Spieth’s early success as a professional, the company decided to proactively renegotiate his deal and in January 2015, the two parties announced the signing of a new 10 year endorsement deal that means Spieth will wear only Under Armour and that no other logos will be present.

The decision to renegotiate and impose such terms is now looking like a very shrewd move. When sealing victory in one of golf’s marquee events on Sunday, Spieth was sporting no fewer than 16 Under Armour logos, a dream for a company that sells itself on the basis of ‘performance’. While it probably has minimal (if any) impact on the Texan’s ability to play golf exceptionally well, Under Armour clothing and footwear is now inextricably linked to a man who dominated a major.

That fact was not lost on investors as the company’s share price soared on Monday. Before the tournament started, the company’s shares closed at $82.72 (April 8). By Monday morning, they had reached $85.31, a 3.1% increase. They closed Monday (April 13) at $85.11.

Spieth’s success, coupled with a great image fuelled by his work with children with learning difficulties, is a dream come true for Under Armour. It will help to increase apparel sales, and the highly visible logos on his shoes will no doubt aid the company’s foray in to the golf footwear market later in 2015.

Spieth may have won $1.8 million at Augusta, but Under Armour seems set to make a whole lot more.

Posted in Apparel, Footwear, Retail, Sports.

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