Last Thursday, Under Armour reported annual revenue growth of 29% and an increase of over 7% in the company’s stock price. CEO Kevin Plank attributes a large majority of the company’s recent success to three individuals who aren’t even employees.
Their three biggest athletes, Jordan Speith, Stephen Curry and Misty Copeland, personify their three categories with the biggest growth – golf, basketball and women’s products. While Spieth is a young white male dominating the golf circuits (kudos to him), Steph (Chef) Curry and Misty are representing for the people of color, not only succeeding in their sports, but breaking barriers and defying the odds along the way.
At just 27 years of age, Steph Curry has led his young Golden Warriors to a National Champions title, won MVP, been voted an All-Star two years in a row and solidified himself as a top player in the league. Off the court, he is the antithesis of the “stereotypical athlete”, an eloquent interviewee, devoted husband and amazing father (yes, there are many other athletes that do the same…but unfortunately it still isn’t the norm). His achievements and rise in fame have led to an over 300% increase in traffic to the Under Armour website and his sneaker, The Curry One, catapulted their footwear sales up 50% to $154 million.
Misty is also experiencing a great 2015, as she has just been named the first black woman principal dancer for the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, giving hope to not only little black girls, but all underdogs around the world. Her story of rising above loads of rejection from others, rising above a difficult childhood and obtaining what so few are even capable of, serves as inspiration to many, of all races, ages and genders. While exact numbers have not been released, Under Armour attributes the leaps in sales of women’s gear directly to Copeland.
These two individuals are prime examples of putting in the hard work and time to excel at their craft and earning all the due accolades they deserve. Congratulations to them both for not only being the best, but inspiring the next generation to do the same.