When it comes to global sneaker sales, Nike is a juggernaut that seemingly can't be knocked off their throne. Each quarter, Under Armour continues to grow market share, especially when it comes to sneaker sales, but do they really have a chance to grow to the point where they effect the Swoosh?
Most of UA's market share came from their apparel and base layers which burst onto the scene in the late '90s and spawned countless copycats. Since Under Armour began focusing on their footwear lines, sales save steadily gone up and increased over 50% in the third quarter, outselling their apparel line for the first time. For 2014, Under Armour has netted one of the top selling shoes for both the month of August and September with the Highlight MC, and has reported sneaker revenue is up 42%. With stores opening in NYC and over 100 shops throughout the country, Under Armour is making a major push to compete with adidas and Nike for market share.
Under Armour Chief Executive Officer Kevin Plank believes those flagship stores have contributed to their increase in sales because their products are not competing or displayed against the opposition. “We are successfully making that transition from a company learning how to make great shoes into a truly disruptive voice in the global footwear market,” he said on a conference call on Thursday morning. “We ultimately believe footwear should be as big, if not bigger, than our apparel business.”
Although UA continues to grow, the old saying is numbers never lie, and Nike still reigns supreme by a fair margin. Under Armour has focused on their running category including the SpeedForm, but most of their sales are coming from both football and baseball cleats, an area which Nike is more vulnerable. If UA wants to make a major impact in either the basketball or running market, their going to need a major technical breakthrough that could pull away Nike's share in the running category which is currently around 62%. Although it's going to be tough, UA is confident they can make a splash going forward because this is just the beginning for them. “We’re just getting started in footwear,” Plank said. “We’re broadening the platform significantly in 2015.”