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Case study
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Constance R. James and Keith Whitney

Over the last two decades, Under Armour (UA) has emerged from being the “underdog” in the sports apparel and footwear industry to being a leader in the industry, with a…

Abstract

Synopsis

Over the last two decades, Under Armour (UA) has emerged from being the “underdog” in the sports apparel and footwear industry to being a leader in the industry, with a fierce attention to performance and great skill at picking up-and-coming athletes who emerge as superstars. This case underscores its administrative heritage, competitive strategy, and growth potential as a global player in a highly competitive industry. It addresses the tension between being a performance brand while launching lines for women vs technology applications and conflicts between its growth strategy and macro-economic forces. It highlights areas in which it has succeeded against macro-economic forces and where it has not.

Research methodology

The research relies primarily on secondary sources and countless studies of UA and its major competitors. Primary research is based on databases, videos of UA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Plank, and articles from Bloomberg to The Baltimore Sun (UA’s headquarters) on the history, growth and future of UA. It also includes observations and site visits to one of its signature brand house stores as well as intensive research and directed studies with students in the USA and China.

Relevant courses and levels

The case can be applied to undergraduate, graduate or executive business classes in: business policy and strategy; general management; (sports) marketing; leadership or organisational behaviour classes.

Details

The CASE Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 1544-9106

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2001

Jenifer Bremer and John Udovich

Manufacturers of labour‐intensive, branded consumer goods – particularly apparel and footwear – are facing increasing pressure from consumer groups, non‐government…

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Abstract

Manufacturers of labour‐intensive, branded consumer goods – particularly apparel and footwear – are facing increasing pressure from consumer groups, non‐government organisations (NGOs), and other stakeholders, to provide assurances that contracted suppliers in developing countries are complying with global labour and environmental standards. Companies have adopted a variety of strategies to strengthen and monitor compliance by their suppliers, including codes of conduct, direct monitoring by their own personnel, more stringent contract conditions, and reduction in the number of contractors. Increasingly, companies are turning to what are termed here “monitoring coalitions”, membership organisations that undertake to organise the monitoring of labour or other standards in overseas factories. To be effective, these emerging systems must address a range of issues, including how to manage the monitoring process, what standard to set, how to finance monitoring, how to disseminate the information collected, and, most difficult, how to accomplish costeffective monitoring in tens of thousands of production facilities in Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 December 2020

Jitong Li and Karen K. Leonas

The purpose of this study is to investigate the sustainability performances of apparel, footwear and accessory (AFA) B Corps, providing companies, especially micro, small…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the sustainability performances of apparel, footwear and accessory (AFA) B Corps, providing companies, especially micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, with reasonable suggestions on how to incorporate the concept of sustainability efficiently.

Design/methodology/approach

This study focused on 117 AFA B Corps. B Corps’ overall sustainability performances consist of their performances in the five areas of governance, workers, community, environment and customers. First, the 117 B Corps’ performances in these areas were compared. Second, multiple regression models were built to predict the B Corps’ sustainability performances based on their inherent characteristics (headquarter location, age, size and industry sector). Third, according to the B Corps’ performances in the five areas, the B Corps were clustered using the hieratical clustering method.

Findings

This study found that the B Corps’ performances in different areas were significantly different and their performances in the area of the community were better than in the other four areas. The B Corps’ characteristics were correlated to their sustainability performances. For example, company size was positively related to the B Corps’ performances in the area of workers. Additionally, Clusters 1, 2 and 3 were identified and characterized by their competitive performances in the areas of governance, workers and community, respectively.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the knowledge of AFA B Corps’ sustainability performances, identifying the weakness and strongness of the sustainable practices accepted by existing AFA B Corps and lending insights regarding how to predict and improve sustainability performances.

Details

Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1560-6074

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 1 May 2011

Rita J. Shea-Van Fossen

This case traces Under Armour from its founding in 1996 through 2008 when the company entered the hyper-competitive non-cleated athletic footwear market. In 1996, with an…

Abstract

This case traces Under Armour from its founding in 1996 through 2008 when the company entered the hyper-competitive non-cleated athletic footwear market. In 1996, with an innovative product and locker room access to college and pro players, Kevin Plank started Under Armour. He turned a struggling t-shirt company into a dominant player capturing 75% of the performance apparel market. In 2006, Under Armour successfully entered the athletic footwear market with a line of football cleats. Under Armour was the first company to disrupt Nike's dominance of the football cleat market by gaining 25% of the market within a year of introduction. In 2008, Under Armour entered the non-cleated athletic footwear market with a cross-trainer sneaker line and a $4.4 million Super Bowl ad. Unlike prior introductions, Nike responded aggressively to Under Armour's move into sneakers. Despite increased sales, Under Armour's costs increased, and profits and stock price decreased. The case concludes by asking students to evaluate Under Armour's next move. An extensive exhibit provides an overview of the athletic footwear industry in 2008.

Details

The CASE Journal, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 1544-9106

Article
Publication date: 15 March 2013

Marsha A. Dickson, Molly Eckman, Suzanne Loker and Charlotte Jirousek

The purpose of this paper is to present innovative strategies to promote sustainability‐focused education, in a case study of a multi‐institutional program designed to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present innovative strategies to promote sustainability‐focused education, in a case study of a multi‐institutional program designed to prepare students for management positions in global apparel and footwear companies. The program is unique in focusing upon management education occurring outside the business school, extension of faculty resources through inter‐institutional collaborations, and use of the internet for course delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

Faculty from three institutions collaborated to develop ten 1‐credit web‐based graduate courses and delivered them inter‐institutionally. Through collaboration with global companies and other stakeholders and through field research, the faculty built a shared vision of sustainability education, identified learning outcomes, developed practical and applied learning experiences and created tools to assess learning.

Findings

Industry experts agreed that the courses and learning outcomes were important and addressed industry needs. The internet‐based platform and learning activities engaged students and encouraged development of creative strategies for addressing sustainability issues.

Practical implications

Students and institutions benefitted from the award‐winning program. Specific outcomes are discussed.

Originality/value

The strategies used in development of the program provide examples for other educational institutions for how to negotiate institutional factors in pursuit of the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education.

Article
Publication date: 9 August 2008

André Nijhof, Dai Forterre and Ronald Jeurissen

This paper aims to explore new forms of control that can address the legitimacy problems of globally‐integrated enterprises.

4743

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore new forms of control that can address the legitimacy problems of globally‐integrated enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach

In a conceptual analysis the characteristics of the globally‐integrated enterprise are used to put forward apt strategies of control. These proposals are examined and illustrated in a case study of the strategies in use in the athletic footwear industry.

Findings

This paper argues that command‐and‐control strategies will be ineffective for globally‐integrated enterprises. In order to behave like a global corporate citizen companies need to stress controls based on belief systems and interactive systems. Certain features of this shift in control are visible within the athletic footwear industry although many strategies in use are still based on thinking like a multinational.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is explorative in nature. More empirical research is needed to test the proposals this paper puts forward.

Practical implications

The results of this paper can be used as a framework to develop control strategies for companies working from a transnational perspective.

Originality/value

The functioning of globally‐integrated enterprises creates both tremendous economic possibilities as well as new problems of legitimacy. This paper is one of the first systematic attempts to provide a framework for dealing with these legitimacy problems and also serves as an illustration of this framework in the athletic footwear sector.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Hyunjoo Oh and Moon W. Suh

The textile and apparel industries in North America have experienced dramatic changes in the past decade. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has prompted the…

4049

Abstract

The textile and apparel industries in North America have experienced dramatic changes in the past decade. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has prompted the formation of apparel supply networks throughout the Western Hemisphere combining textile industries and retailers in the USA with apparel industries in Mexico to compete against Asian countries. Contrary to the widely acclaimed intent of NAFTA, the increased apparel production in Mexico has not led to a growth for the US textile industry. Instead, the US textile industry has continuously lost ground in global competition, giving up a large portion of its manufacturing. Today, the US textile industry is undergoing negative profits, countless plant closings, layoffs, and eventual bankruptcies. This study analyzes the impact of NAFTA and US textile companies’ corporate strategies on the performance of the textile industry and examines the pending strategic issues for maintaining US textile companies’ competitiveness in global markets.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2009

Jung E. Ha‐Brookshire and Barbara Dyer

The purpose of this paper is to confirm empirically the existence of a US apparel import intermediary (AII) identity crisis, and to provide a detailed descriptive profile…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to confirm empirically the existence of a US apparel import intermediary (AII) identity crisis, and to provide a detailed descriptive profile of AIIs, differentiating them from apparel firms not primarily engaged in importing activities.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey study was conducted using a national sample of US AIIs. Based on these firms' executives' responses, a firm identity issue was analyzed and a detailed profile of these firms' business characteristics was developed, using frequency comparisons.

Findings

The study confirmed that US AIIs are currently experiencing an identity crisis, as nearly half of the study respondents misclassified themselves as apparel manufacturers or other business types, suggesting a significant distortion in US Economic Census data. The study also provided a descriptive profile of US AIIs, including geographic location and other business operation characteristics.

Research limitations/implications

Three fourths of the survey respondents were located in the state of New York. Whether most US AIIs truly reside in New York cannot be known with certainty. Generalization of the study findings to a greater population should be cautious.

Practical implications

Confirmation of an AII identity crisis suggests both aggregate and individual firm‐level impacts on import activities. The study offers a new term, “intermediary”, to replace the US Census Bureau term “wholesaler” to accurately reflect the industry's transformation.

Originality/value

The study provides the first empirical support for a US AII identity crisis. The detailed profile of US AIIs offers industry data not available prior to this study.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1989

Carol G. Carrere and Trevor J. Little

Like most industries that adopt a reactive manufacturing strategy, the clothing industry changes only when external forces dictate that the current approach or strategy…

Abstract

Like most industries that adopt a reactive manufacturing strategy, the clothing industry changes only when external forces dictate that the current approach or strategy will no longer satisfy the prevailing business environment. This paper presents a case study of the modular manufacturing system and discusses the underlying premises that support the success of modular manufacturing both in the formative stages and during sustained operation. A review of the known origins of modular manufacturing illustrates how this production system can be used to advantage for clothing manufacture. Modular is the apparel industry's attempt to optimise the social and technical components of a Sociotechnical System (STS). No single solution fits all products/tasks in fully optimising STS, given different technologies, environment and people, etc. Consistent with the requirements for STS, the authors have formed five conclusive statements regarding the characteristics of modular manufacturing for apparel.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 March 2007

Arnaldo Camuffo, Andrea Furlan, Pietro Romano and Andrea Vinelli

The purpose of this paper is to investigate routes towards supplier and production network internationalisation.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate routes towards supplier and production network internationalisation.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple case‐study analysis has been applied to a sample of 11 Italian footwear and apparel companies with headquarters located in the North‐east of Italy. Within and cross‐case analyses illustrate and compare how these firms relocated one or more segments of their supplier and production networks to Romania.

Findings

The findings support theories that view internationalisation as an incremental process of experiential knowledge accumulation. The case studies suggest that firms undertake three different routes towards supplier and production network internationalisation: traditional subcontracting; co‐ordinated subcontracting; and supply system relocation. These routes' typology is grounded on an original model, which is the theoretical contribution of the paper, which elaborates Johanson and Vahlne's framework adding two variables: the nature of the technological knowledge that needs to be transferred to run the foreign operations and the nature of the customer‐supplier (CS) interaction context of the focal firm.

Research limitations/implications

The characteristics of the model proposed set the boundaries of the research approach and suggest new avenues for further research. First, the model rests on the idea that no firm can fully control the dynamics of its international network, since these are an emergent process. Consequently, the study does not provide practitioners with a rigid set of normative indications about what factors to consider when designing international supply networks. Secondly, the model does not consider all the factors that impact on the internationalisation of the supplier and production network. Finally, the model is not evolutionary and does not assess the relationships between the internationalisation process (its timing, speed, etc.) and firms' performance.

Practical implications

The typology can support managers when framing the problem of choosing among different routes of supplier and production network internationalisation. Furthermore, the findings suggest that these decisions are influenced by the nature of the technological knowledge involved and the CS interaction context.

Originality/value

The paper extends the theory of the supply network internationalisation process, proposing a model that captures the variables actually involved in such a process and their dynamic relationships.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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