Under Armour sees social conversation not ‘overspending on marketing’ as a way to grow in the UK

Under Armour’s head of marketing EMEA, Christopher Carroll, says that the brand mission is to create conversations between amateur athletes to further brand awareness.

Carroll told Marketing Week that the brand has been using a combination of social initiatives to build conversations between athletes, and the company focus is on reaching consumers organically, rather than “overspending on marketing”.

The brand’s latest social engagement campaign is an example of where the brand has created organic conversations. The campaign engages the UK’s fitness enthusiasts by encouraging them to share their workouts using the hashtag #EarnYourArmour.

Under Armour will hijack these conversations, while athletes compete in physical exercises, by sending real-time messages from Welsh Rugby Union Fullback, Leigh Halfpenny to challenge the athletes with different physical tasks.

“We focus on our own values. We want to make athletes lives better and be genuine when we deliver our product innovations.

“Brand acceleration through digital and social is a significant part of the growth and brand development we have seen across the UK,” says Carroll.

In addition to the brand’s social campaigns, Under Armour is investing in creating new experiences for global consumers through apps and wearables. In the company’s latest earning’s call the brand disclosed $85m in the wellness app Endomondo and is set to purchase MyFitnessPal for $475m in the near future.

Yesterday (1 March) the brand announced that it is to partner with HTC to create a new fitness wristband.

Despite Under Armour’s focus on building an organic relationship with athletes, the brand has recruited high-profile brand ambassadors to carry its message.

This past December the brand signed Andy Murray to endorse its sports apparel. Murray will wear Under Armour’s apparel, footwear and accessories during competitions and will feature in marketing campaigns for the company.

“Our strategy and plan is to provide head-to-toe solutions through apparel and footwear innovation to European athletes,” adds Carroll.

Under Armour has recently signed deals with Halfpenny, rugby athlete Jamie Roberts, and sponsored the football team Tottenham Hotspur.

“We know we are the challenger in market position, we’re aggressively growing in brand equity and sales. We are just getting started, ” adds Carroll.

Under Armour’s full-year 2014 global sales climbed by 32% from the previous year, to $3bn. International revenues grew by 96% compared to 2013.