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Under Armour’s top communications executive steps down

Diane Pelkey was Under Armour's top communications executive until Monday when she stepped down.
Diane Pelkey was Under Armour's top communications executive until Monday when she stepped down.(Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun photo)

Diane Pelkey, a top communications executive at Under Armour, has stepped down after more than a decade with the sports apparel and footwear maker.

Pelkey, the Baltimore-based company’s longest tenured female senior vice president, came to Under Armour in 2008 from Reebok/Adidas Group.

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“After more than a decade as a member of the Under Armour family, Diane has decided to pursue a new opportunity,” the company said Wednesday in a statement. “We thank her for everything she has done for the brand.”

Under Armour said it expects to announce a new global head of communications soon.

Pelkey built Under Armour’s communications division from its inception, increasing brand awareness as the company grew to $5.3 billion in sales. As senior vice president of global communications and experiential marketing, she managed marketing, events, talent relations and corporate and crisis communications.

The company last month said it expects its sales to decline this year as the brand struggles to regain traction in its key U.S. market and feels the financial brunt of the coronavirus outbreak. In November, the brand confirmed that its accounting methods are being investigated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department.

Pelkey created public relations strategies to launch marketing campaigns, international growth and expansion of products in categories such as running and basketball. She worked with the company’s athlete endorsers such as Tom Brady, Stephen Curry, Misty Copeland, and Lindsey Vonn.

She also worked to raise the profile of company founder Kevin Plank, helping him land covers of Forbes and Inc. and national television and cable interviews. Plank, executive chairman and brand chief, stepped down from his longtime role as CEO Jan. 1, when he was succeeded by Patrik Frisk the company’s president and chief operating officer.

A former head of corporate communications, Kelley McCormick, stepped down in September to explore other opportunities. McCormick currently serves as an adviser to the brand.

Pelkey, a Boston University graduate, previously worked as senior global brand director at Reebok/Adidas for 13 years. Before that, she worked at Cone Communications Agency in Boston for four years. Her last day at Under Armour was Monday.

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