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Carroll School of Management

ceo2015-06-10

Kevin Plank

Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Under Armour

"Kevin Plank and Under Armour: From Grandma's Basement to the World Stage"

Kevin Plank, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Under Armour, spoke to the June 10 meeting of Boston College’s Chief Executives Club about his company’s growth from a specialty T-shirt line headquartered in his grandmother’s basement into a multibillion dollar sports apparel giant poised to disrupt an industry. Plank is excited about the company’s development of “Connected Fitness,” a network of platforms and tools that measure sleep, activity, fitness, and nutrition, he said. “Brands are meant to have a point of view,” Plank told the gathering. “If we can inspire people to measure [their personal health and fitness], if we can get them to make better-informed decisions, that [will] allow them to take action, that will effect change.” Hill Holliday Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Karen Kaplan introduced the speaker.

TAKEAWAYS

"With that influence [which athletes have] comes the good and comes the bad sometimes….But I do think it’s a brand’s job to support their athletes. Because look, people are going to have highs and they’re going to have lows as well, and none of us are perfect." TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO »

"The one thing, in an entrepreneurial company, in a fast company, I’ve said is that I prioritize decision-making over right and wrong….Then it’s [the CEO’s] job to either prove and make that decision right or allow it to become wrong." TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO »

"I’m thinking every product that we build—every shirt, every shoe….better give [the customer] confidence. More importantly, it better work, because that’s what a brand is. That’s what a brand does. It inspires people to believe that they can do more." TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO »

PRESS COVERAGE

Baltimore Business Journal "Under Armour wants to open a giant flagship store in Boston" ARTICLE »

Boston Business Journal "Under Armour's been on a tech acquisition spree, just not in Boston" ARTICLE »

Boston Business Journal "Under Armour CEO says he wants to open a giant Newbury Street store" ARTICLE »

Boston Globe, Business "Post-Deflategate, Under Armour protects Tom Brady" ARTICLE »

New England Cable News (NECN) "Under Armour Backs Tom Brady" ARTICLE »