Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank gave a pep talk before Monday night’s NCAA men’s basketball championship game to the players of Texas Tech — the Baltimore-based athletic brand’s first sponsored team to make it to the final game.
Plank addressed the players in the late afternoon in Minneapolis, hours before they were to take the floor for the game against Virginia, which is outfitted by Nike. Under Armour declined to disclose the specifics of Plank’s talk, saying the session was private.
The men’s and women’s basketball tournaments are prime showcases for Under Armour, Nike and Adidas because the events can attract more attention than even a big postseason football game, as teams can play as many as a half-dozen times.
While Nike schools have long outnumbered the others, this is the first year that Under Armour had two men’s teams in the Final Four — Texas Tech and Auburn.
Under Armour delivered Stephen Curry-branded shoes to the Red Raiders and Tigers at the Final Four. Curry, the Golden State Warriors’ superstar, is Under Armour’s top basketball ambassador.
The Notre Dame women’s basketball team also got Under Armour shoes after making the Final Four.
Overall, Under Armour outfitted a company best of 29 March Madness teams — 12 women's and 17 men's schools.
In honor of Texas Tech, the brand said it planned to light up the large company logo at its Baltimore headquarters in red instead of the usual white Monday night.