Even as a kid, Kevin Plank had a passion for sports and the spirit of an entrepreneur. So it makes sense that he was just a college student-athlete when he was struck with the idea that would eventually launch Under Armour and change the way athletes around the world dress forever.
As special teams captain for the University of Maryland football team during the brutally hot summer of 1995, Plank hated having to change his sweat-soaked cotton T-shirts over and over again during two-a-days. Then, one day, a thought went through his head:
“There has to be something better.”
In 1996 the former student-athlete got to work.
From fabric stores in Maryland to trips to the garment district in New York City Plank searched for the best performance fabric.
After finding the right blend of performance fabrics Plank created his prototype T-shirt, and launched Under Armour in his grandmother’s basement in Washington DC’s Georgetown neighborhood. But truth be told, he was hardly ever there. Instead, Plank was on the road, visiting locker rooms across the country to introduce athletes and equipment managers to something they’d never seen before—a tight-fitting, moisture-wicking T-shirt that supports your muscles and regulates your body temperature.
Plank started selling shirts out of the trunk of his car, and eventually the world took notice. Seventeen years later, Under Armour is a multi-billion dollar global brand and the maker of the most innovative performance footwear, apparel, and accessories in the world.