Under Armour to open APAC base in Hong Kong
Sportswear brand Under Armour is setting its sights on Asia with plans to open a regional headquarters in Hong Kong this year.
The U.S. company plans to compete in the market with premium, performance-based products as opposed to fashion-focused styles, and with the help of international, regional and local athletes, according to Chinese media reports.
The brand has already partnered with Chinese athlete Zhu Ting, the No. 1 female volleyball player in the world, as well as the likes of American NBA star Stephen Curry.
“What is going to be unique with us is how we think about performance in combination with looks, feel and aesthetics,” president and COO Patrik Frisk told the South China Morning Post. “It is the mindset of how are we solving problems for the athlete. We are not going to compromise on that, whereas perhaps our competition might just build something to look good because it is a trend. Time will prove us right.”
Under Armour also shared plans to open another 1,500 stores over the next five years, adding to its 1,100 global store count. Asia is expected to be home to 73 percent of those stores, more than doubling its current store count of 600 stores.
According to Euromonitor, China’s sportswear market will grow by 45 per cent from US$40.1 billion in 2018 to US$58.2 billion in 2023.
The Baltimore, Maryland-based company’s focus on Asia comes as the brand is also expanding operations in Latin America and Europe, and rejigs its design team. Earlier this month, the company named Kasey Jarvis as its new chief design officer, replacing Dave Dombrow.
In its fourth quarter, North America sales fell 6 percent, while its international sales grew 24 percent to $395 million.
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