Announcements from Under Armour today:
The Baltimore company said this morning it expects revenue for the year to come in the range of $1.42 billion to $1.44 billion, an increase of 33 percent to 35 percent more than in 2010. It forecasts operating income in the range of $155 million to $160 million, an increase of 38 percent to 42 percent more than last year.
Under Armour had previously anticipated year-end net revenues in the range of $1.37 billion to $1.39 billion and operating income in the range of $149 million to $153 million.
"First and foremost our brand and product have never been stronger," CEO Kevin Plank said during a call with analysts this morning.
But the company also reported a decline in gross profit margins because of weaker than expected performance at its factory outlet stores. The margins were also impacted by pressures from the growing footwear business and the effects of the recent move of its accessories business in-house.
My guess is that this focus on margins means my hope of a big retail UA store near the company's newly-owned campus might be delayed a bit more, since that area is pretty low on consumer traffic. (Tongue-in-cheek hint to any retail analysts planning to scope the site: Please do some of your foot traffic count on a Monday around 6:45 p.m., when my running group bloats the numbers a bit.)
No matter -- my attention at the moment is focused on a little paragraph near the end of this morning's article:
Plank said Under Armour will increase its marketing efforts in coming months as it relaunches parts of its footwear line. Fall campaigns will feature NFL quarterback Tom Brady, Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton and ultimate fighter Georges St. Pierre among others.
With the company's footwear sales up by over $11 million, year over year, I have to imagine that any relaunch would be aimed not at the company's already-strong football equipment segment, but at areas like basketball or running shoes.
That got me thinking about who could be brought on to endorse new running shoe lines. Matthew Centrowitz Jr. would seem like a good option as a local runner and national rising star -- Under Armour likes to sign people early in their careers -- but he's still got some time to spend in college before he can officially take part in any deals.
Either way, the company isn't saying much about running endorsements for now: When asked earlier today, a company representative was friendly but gave no new information on the topic.
Who would you like to see?
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