Under Armour Ousts Adidas to Become No. 2 Sports Brand

Under Armour (UA) edged Adidas out of its second place spot among athletic brands in the U.S.

Data released by Sterne Agee and SportScanInfo Thursday, revealed UA recorded $2.6 billion in U.S. footwear and apparel sales for the 11 months ending Dec. 31, compared to Adidas, which notched $1.6 billion in sales.

First place Nike Inc. left both UA and Adidas in the dust with $11.8 billion of U.S. sales during the same period, excluding $2.5 billion of Jordan footwear sales. However, UA made inroads with apparel, which grew 17.5% to $2 billion.

The company’s footwear——ranked seventh behind Nike, Jordan, Adidas, Skechers, Asics and New Balance——rose 34 percent, buoyed by a booming basketball footwear market.

Last month the NPD Group reported athletic footwear sales increased 11 percent, or $93 million, during the five weeks ending Dec. 6, with basketball footwear contributing a whopping $50 million to the increase.

Similarly, data from Sterne Agee and SportScanInfo showed that over the last six weeks UA basketball footwear sales spiked 154 percent within the national accounts channel, where UA is predominately distributed. As a result, UA surpassed Adidas to have the No. 3 market share (1.5%) behind Nike and Jordan. The report indicated strong placement in basketball at retailers like Foot Locker and Finish Line should keep the momentum going and lead to overall shelf space gain.

The report stated, “At this point, the UA Clutch Drive is mainly a court shoe, with not much casual or “cool factor” appeal. We believe this is the natural progression of basketball shoes for UA, as was the case with Jordan when first introduced in 1984. UA’s trajectory has been helped by the strong performance of Stephen Curry. Curry is a close second to Lebron James at the leading vote getter for 2015 NBA All Star game that will be played at the Madison Square Garden on Feb. 15. Curry is considered a front runner for 2015 MVP honors, and his team (Golden State Warriors) currently have the best record in the NBA.”

On Friday, UA debuted the Curry One, the player’s first signature shoe collection. Dave Dombrow, Under Armour vice president and creative director, said, “The Curry One represents Stephen’s journey and the legacy he is building that is inspiring and motivating the next generation of basketball players. Through hard work and self-conviction, Stephen willed himself into becoming one of the game’s best players.”

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