Most companies don’t have their own football field, but Under Armour isn’t most companies. Founded in 1996, the brand is today a top player across several sporting equipment categories, including a growing footprint in the outdoors.
The mega-brand’s campus sprawls along the banks of Chesapeake Bay in Baltimore, with a 50-yard turf field, state-of-the-art testing labs, a mega gymnasium, and, of course, offices.
Earlier this month GearJunkie visited the sports-apparel juggernaut to learn about the technology and culture of the brand (and to participate in a tough hour-long workout under a blazing midday sun!).
While a hefty exercise session might look like an odd way to begin a business meeting, at Under Armour it seemed to be par for the course. People in workout gear jogged all around the campus on our visit. The gym was busy with exercisers spinning and lifting weights at 11 a.m.
But work gets done here in a major way, too. A quick tour of the super-secret “Innovation Lab” (sorry, no photos allowed) revealed large 3D printers, weather-simulating labs, and a climate chamber capable of subjecting an exercising human to temperatures from 100 to -29 degrees F.
“The intent of the lab is to build and break things,” said product developer Tom White.
Our tour ended in a display room where hundreds of products, from running shoes to hunting boots to underwear, hung on display.
From its humble roots building base layers made to be worn under football pads, Under Armour has grown into a diverse company in many categories. The brand is even launching a hunt-oriented TV series, Ridge Reaper, on the Outdoor Channel next month.
We’re looking forward to testing several upcoming products we got to see. Keep your eyes open for reviews in the near future on GearJunkie. A football field, however, likely will not be involved.