How Under Armour Could Sprint Past Its Footwear Sales Goals

Under Armour (NYSE: UAA) (NYSE: UA) announced new connected shoes in December, thereby doubling down on connected footwear. These shoes follow an array of new shoes announced in 2016 across multiple categories, all of which are helping Under Armour to gain more footing in this market. With new styles making headway into new markets, Under Armour's expanding footwear opportunity could blow right past the sales forecasts management set last year.
Under Armour's newest connected shoes link up to a user's account on Under Armour's MapMyRun mobile app, and are "designed to provide runners with the digital tools needed to understand recovery and ultimately maximize performance," according to an Under Armour release. The shoes use pre-run tests to give runners insight into muscle fatigue prior to working out. These three new styles are upgrades from similar connected shoes that track a runner's distance, cadence, and other stats that were released as part of Under Armour's connected fitness and wearables push in January .
Basketball and running seem to have been leading footwear sales in 2016, but Under Armour is continuously growing into other types of footwear as well. Among its interesting 2016 footwear releases was the first 3D-printed cross-trainer called the UA Architech, the company's first ever golf shoe which pro golfer Jordan Speith wore during the 2016 Masters Tournament, as well as new styles within baseball, training, fishing, hiking, and various other sports. Under Armour is also growing its more casual-focused styles (including shoes) as part of the new Under Armour Sportswear fashion line.
Aside from connected shoes, running has been an important segment for Under Armour in 2016. The Bandit 2, a relatively inexpensive running shoe that was launched this year, has received high industry ratings. Basketball has been another growth driver for Under Armour in 2016, continuing on with the success of the Curry line following UA-sponsored NBA MVP Steph Curry's own continued success. The recently launched Curry 3.0 shoe has faced questions lately following third-party retailer comments that they haven't been selling as well as earlier versions. The Curry 3.0 was only launched in October, so we'll see in fourth-quarter earnings how well that version has actually sold, but demand for the whole line throughout the year has been high

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