Under Armour is at the final stages of introducing a new product to its current product line. The product, known as The Sharp Shooter, is a soccer boot that will target the lower end of the market. The purpose of this business plan is to offer a concise explanation of the business goals for which we intend to venture in.
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The plan offers details of our strategies and objectives towards achieving the business goals in both foreign and home markets. The report also covers a market analysis that will aid in formulating strategies for entering the markets and achieving a significant market share
Under Armour is a US based sports clothing and accessories company that was founded in January 2006 by Kevin Plank, who is currently the company’s CEO. It specializes in sportswear and trendy casual apparel, mainly targeting athletic teams in schools, colleges, and in the military.
The company has been very successful at designing sports wear and basketball shoes and, due in part to the huge success of its clothing line, wishes to expand its operations into the soccer boots market. Under Armour intends to market the new product as part of the existing basketball shoes and differentiate itself from competitors by the marketing strategies, exclusiveness, and high brand awareness.
The factor to the company’s success at this new venture is that Under Armour has already established its brand in the market and will be aiming to extend its customer base to football and soccer players. However, we shall continue to market the rest of our products especially in cases where they are complementary, for instance, colleges and schools that use Under Armour sweatshirts can buy our football boots too for use by football and rugby players. Other institutions may prefer to purchase all of their sporting items from us.
Under Armour deals mainly in sports clothing and accessories. Currently, our main product focus is on sports shoes, specifically football boots that can be used by soccer and rugby players. The product will be known as Under Armour Sharp Shooter, shortened to The Sharpshooter.
One advantage that The Sharp Shooter will possess over the mainstream football boots is that it will have adjustable insoles that can be adjusted when a player feels so, and hence increase a player’s comfort while improving grip. The Sharp Shooter will also be made using the latest technological in leather treatment that will make them durable, more comfortable, and minimize injury to player’s feet.
There has been a steady increase in the number of students and youths participating in football games mainly as s recreational activity. These players do not require expensive sporting such as those used by professional athletes and normally have trouble finding durable, low budget boots. The main industry players in the market are Puma, Nike, Adidas and Reebok, all of whom target professional athletes and large sports clubs or groups.
Hence, Under Armour recognized the difficulty encountered by non-professional athletes and has stepped in to manufacture its own low-priced yet durable soccer boots to serve this steadily growing market. however, the company will also target large sports clubs in its long term strategy and will begin by introducing the Sharp Shooter to sections of its current client base that may find the product useful.
Competitive Analysis and Strategy
The market for soccer shoes is currently dominated by Nike, Reebok, Puma and Adidas. Although these companies are huge in the world arena, their presence is rarely felt by small sports clubs that make up Under Armour’s main client base since they mainly target large football and rugby clubs.
Hence, Under Armour will not come under direct competition with these multinational companies. However, in the future, we will market our products to big clubs and will differentiate ourselves from the competitors by adopting aggressive pricing and promotional techniques.
Under Armour will be the only company offering a complete set of sporting items, from hats, shirts, pants, sporting shoes and other accessories. The company shall strive to market and supply its products together in order to fight off competition and maintain its market share.
Our initial market will be our existing client base. The company has been contracted to supply shirts by a number of small and large sporting clubs in schools, colleges and large football clubs such as Tottenham Hotspurs of the UK and Hannover 96 of Germany and even rugby unions.
Under Armour will approach these customers and present the product to them at a commission. This will help in brand improving brand awareness and expand our client base. The company has established positive relationships with major chain stores and distributors around the US, and this will help in marketing.
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Under Armour will use a competitive pricing strategy during the early stages of entrance in the market. At the introductory stage, the football boots will start selling at $50. This price is below the typical prices offered by the aforementioned competitors, and will give us an edge. The price is friendlier too, and this will enable persons who are not employed to own new boots. The strategy will also help in brand awareness and, in a sense, will act as a promotional tool.
Products will be distributed through retail chains and stores, and our strength lies in the fact that we have previously established positive connections with these stores. This will greatly boost our distribution channel. As previously stated, we will also distribute our products directly to our clients.
Under Armour have a number of exclusive retail outlets around the country that specialize in selling its products and these stores will be filled The Sharp Shooter football boots once they come out the factory. These stores are found at the Westfield Annapolis mall in Maryland and a larger store at Westfield Fox Valley in Illinois and in other areas in and out of the US.
Apart from promoting our products by presenting them to existing customers, the company will use radio and television the new product. Since the product will be used mainly by soccer and rugby players, Under Armour will attend similar sporting events and promote its products.
It will also organize or sponsor a sports event, in these sponsored events, the company will offer its products to the top three winning teams in each category. There will be raffle tickets in the venues and the winners will be given an assortment of Under Armour products, however, focus will be on the football boots and every effort will be made to inform the public of their strengths through public address systems at the sports venues.
In order to woo current customers, Under Armour will offer discounts if these customers agree to purchase the football boots alongside other sports apparel. All customers, new and existing, will be offered sliding sales discounts when they buy in bulk (20 pairs or more). Finally, Under Armour shall promote its new product on college and school websites and on other sports websites, as well as through celebrity endorsements.
Operation objectives and strategy
We have decided that we will increase our productions capacity and the number of salespeople in order to satisfy future market demands. Additionally, we will enhance training, research and development, add new product lines and encourage innovation and modernity in our product.
Plans for the introduction of The Sharp Shooter have been ongoing for a number of years. Consequently, Under Armour has accumulated enough capital to fund the whole program. The company intends to trade publicly at the NYSE, this will provide us with the additional capital outlay should there be need to expand our operations in line with increased demand.