Under Armour, US' No. 2 sportswear brand, to enter India
When asked about the company's retail plans for India, an Under Armour spokesperson told TOI, "Under Armour is a global company and we are always exploring opportunities to bring our technology and innovations to new markets, in order to make all athletes better, around the world. Our international business is a key growth driver for the company and will help propel the brand to $7.5 billion by 2018."
Under Armour is led by founder and CEO Kevin Plank. One of the main reasons that have been attributed to its success is its 'underdog' strategy. While companies such as Nike have always bet on top athletes as brand endorsers, Under Armour has taken the alternate route by tying up with under-the-radar athletes in the US. Celebrities such as wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson has been seen wearing Under Armour gear in movies such as Fast and Furious 6. In contrast to Nike's "Just do it" tagline, Under Armour sports a more humane "I will" tag.
Some of the world's largest brands including Nike, Adidas and Puma are betting on India's Rs 6,000-crore sportswear market that constitutes of apparel, footwear and accessories. While Adidas has got the government nod to open its own stores here, Puma is slogging it out along with Nike to make more Indians wear branded sportswear. Even yoga guru Ramdev, who has created waves with his FMCG brand Patanjali, is planning to enter the market with his range of Khadi yoga wear.
"India is a young country and there is money in the hands of its young populace. Slowly but surely, a culture of an active lifestyle is catching up across the country. Among cars, crossovers are doing well and almost every new housing society has its own gym these days. The sportswear market here is waiting to explode," says Arvind Singhal, founder of retail consultancy Technopak.