Kevin Plank is the founder and CEO of Under Armour, a company that offers sports clothing, equipment, and accessories. Plank’s journey to creating one of the most successful sports apparel companies in the world began when he was a walk-on Special Teams player on the University of Maryland football team. Plank, constantly troubled by his sweat soaked cotton tee shirts, found himself changing clothes multiple times during practices. Noticing other players with the same problem, Plank set out to find a solution. After numerous failed attempts, Plank created his first prototype. Made from microfibers, his t-shirt was skin-tight and drew sweat away from the body without becoming unbearably saturated. With his new product, Plank began selling the shirt to his teammates and other athletes around campus. With his initial clientele, Plank sold $17,000 worth of clothing in his first year and the rest is history. Under Armour has grown into a global powerhouse in the sports apparel industry. According to Forbes, it is expected to have revenues of $1.8 Billion in 2013, while Plank himself has a net worth of $1.35 Billion. Under Armour has sponsored some of sports’ biggest names, including NFL superstar Tom Brady who actually owns stock in the company and former NL MVP Buster Posey. You can also see Under Armour apparel on the uniforms of Plank’s alma mater Maryland, whose football team has some of the most unique uniforms in the country:
Plank’s story is one of true entrepreneurship, as he created the company from the ground, recognizing a need and creating a product that has immense demand. Under Armour’s material has revolutionized the apparel industry, creating the need for Nike to form their Dri-FIT products and developing a new fashion craze that can be seen on athletes from virtually every sport.