InvestorPlace Assistant Editor Marc Bastow, Under Armour
First, my ground rules for the next Apple:
- Consumers drive the bus (clearly shown by the growth in consumer purchases of all things Apple).
- New, revolutionary products are crucial to get people to board that bus.
- Marketing is the engine on the bus.
Under Armour (NYSE:UA) is the next Apple.
Consumer growth in the athletic apparel space continues to skyrocket, evidenced by revenue improvements at Under Armour competitors Nike (NYSE:NKE) and Adidas (PINK:ADDYY). All signs point to a thriving market — one that has explosive potential once (and it will happen) the economy rebounds and consumers’ confidence returns. UA has barely moved into the European and Asian markets, and it has plenty of time to find new consumers.
Under Armour is all about product revolutions, as its first offerings proved. The company is relentlessly improving on its brand, introducing ColdGear, HeatGear and everything in between.
Marketing is essential, and football, baseball and lacrosse gear and apparel, as well as soccer shoes and soccer uniforms, are all on the shelves, and there’s an entirely new and eager generation that can be taught to wear the curvy X instead of the swoosh. UA practically invented the “in-store” model for athletic gear, and its goods are everywhere.
With $1.5 billion in sales after only 16 years in business, and an upcoming stock split that should further whet retail investors’ appetites, the company has the legs and wherewithal to make founder Kevin Plank’s visions come true.