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Under Armour dropping hospitality events at Preakness

The Under Armour corporate tent at the Preakness Stakes is shown in this 2010 file photo.
The Under Armour corporate tent at the Preakness Stakes is shown in this 2010 file photo.(Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Under Armour — whose corporate tent and activities have long been staples at the Preakness Stakes — won’t be hosting its customary hospitality events at this year’s big race.

CEO Kevin Plank “is definitely scaling back on the party aspect” at the May 19 Triple Crown horse race, said Sal Sinatra, president and general manager of The Jockey Club, which owns the Pimlico and Laurel Park tracks.

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“He’s still sponsoring horses” and a race on the Friday before the Preakness, Sinatra said.

The Baltimore sports apparel and footwear brand confirmed the decision in an email reply to the Baltimore Sun.

“As Under Armour continues to focus on becoming a more operationally efficient company, we will not be hosting our hospitality events for Preakness Weekend,” the company said.

“On Friday, May 18, the company will participate in a community service day as well as celebrate our annual Armour Day,” it said. “Teammates will continue our long tradition of volunteering time and resources to help improve three Baltimore City schools.”

Under Armour volunteers have been helping renovate schools, and the company has distributed backpacks and athletic uniforms to students. Armour Day is a company gathering that participants have likened to a pep rally.

Preakness draws in famous faces in celebration of fashion, food, camraderie, and the novelty of horse racing

Under Armour had long turned the Preakness — the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown — into an extended weekend for clients, celebrities and other guests, showcasing the company and, by extension, Baltimore.

The company's big hospitality tent often featured a large Under Armour logo emblazoned on its roof, and trainers were sometimes given gift bags featuring Under Armour jackets embroidered with the Preakness logo.

Under Armour has seen slower growth in U.S. sales since the the end of 2016 and its stock price has plunged. The company says it plans to rebound by becoming leaner and more responsive to consumers in developing and marketing shoes and apparel.

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