|Kevin A. Plank|
August 13, 1972 |
Kensington, Maryland, U.S.
|Known for||Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Under Armour|
|Net worth||US$ 1.35 billion (Sept. 2012)|
Kevin Plank is the youngest of five brothers. He grew up in the affluent suburb of Kensington, Maryland. His father William was a prominent Maryland land developer. His mother, Jayne (née Harper), is a former mayor of Kensington, Maryland who went on to direct the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the United States Department of State under President Ronald Reagan. Kevin grew up playing football for the maplewood maple leafs, which have appeared in a few Under Armour commercials .Kevin left Georgetown Preparatory School because of poor academic performance, but went on to play football at Fork Union Military Academy. Plank graduated from St. John's College High School, in Washington, D.C., where he remains an active alumnus. He later attended the University of Maryland.
Plank married Desiree Guerzon in 2003. They have a son named James, born August 10, 2003. Plank has made donations to numerous Republican candidates, including $2,000 to Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign in 2008.
At the University of Maryland, he launched various businesses of his own. Plank developed Cupid's Valentine, an annual business that sold roses for Valentine’s Day. He put away $17,000 from the rose business, which eventually became seed money for Under Armour. The original concept for Under Armour was born out of necessity, as Plank was the self-proclaimed “sweatiest guy on the football field”. Frustrated by his sweat-soaked cotton t-shirts' inability to keep him dry and comfortable, he started the hunt for a material that would wick the sweat from his body to make him lighter and faster.
From local tailor shops in College Park, Maryland to the garment district of New York City, Plank, upon graduating from Maryland in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, searched for synthetic materials to test his hypothesis. Plank ran through seven prototypes before deciding on the one he wanted to use. He then asked his former teammates to try on the shirts, explaining that his alternative to a basic cotton T-shirt would enhance their performance on the field. As Plank's friends moved on to play professionally, he would send them T-shirts, requesting that they pass them out to other players in their locker rooms. A turning point for Plank and his start-up, Under Armour, which was now based out of a Georgetown rowhouse owned by his grandmother, came late in 1999. A $25,000 advertisement in ESPN The Magazine spurred $1 million in direct sales for the following year and athletes and teams began buying the product.
In 2003, Under Armour's first television advertisement featured a football squad huddled around Plank's former University of Maryland teammate Eric Ogbogu, shouting “we must protect this house”. The phrase became shorthand for the Under Armour brand and can be seen and heard throughout college football stadiums across the country.
In 2012, Plank was recognized by Forbes for changing the athlete's experience on the playing field and was named #3 on Forbes' annual 40 Under 40 list and #3 on Forbes' list of America's 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under. The company's revenues passed the $1 billion mark for 2010. Plank is the company's biggest shareholder and has majority voting control, owning all 12.5 million of Under Armour's Class B shares, worth $720 million in August 2011. In December 2011, Plank's net worth was estimated by Forbes Magazine at $1.05 billion USD.
Plank still draws upon his basic athletic values at the office. In lieu of meetings, the company has “huddles”. Posted on the wall in most conference rooms are the “Under Armour Huddle” rules, which encourage workers to “be prepared to huddle”, “manage the clock”, “know your position”, "run the huddle”, “execute the play”, and “respect your teammates”.
Plank has been a long-time supporter of the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. In addition to sitting on the University’s Board of Trustees, Plank played an integral role in the development of an endowment fund that the Dingman Center uses to invest in viable startup businesses. Plank is also responsible for the development of the annual Cupid's Cup business competition. The competition got its name from Plank’s “Cupid's Valentine” rose business he began while attending the University.
Plank is also active within the Baltimore and Washington D.C. communities sitting on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore City Fire Foundation, the Greater Baltimore Committee and Greater Washington Sports Alliance. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Living Classrooms, a Baltimore-Washington based non-profit organization dedicated to the hands-on education of young people using urban, natural and maritime environments as “living classrooms".
Plank is a member the Board of Trustees for the National Football Foundation and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. His involvement in philanthropy has also translated to his business. Under Armour supports the V Foundation for cancer research and has its own Power in Pink campaign, raising funds for breast cancer research and education. In addition, Under Armour supports the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the Rock Foundation, Ronald McDonald House and Conservation Fund. The Company also has a “Give Back” program, encouraging employees to become involved with local charities.
- Forbes Billionaires: Kevin Plank September 2012
- Palmisano, Trey (April 9, 2009). "From rags to microfiber: inside the rapid rise of Under Armour". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- Roberts, Daniel (November 7, 2011). "Under Armour Gets Serious". Fortune 164 (7): 156. ISSN 0015-8259. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- Dessauer, Carin (March–April 2009). "Team Player". Bethesda Magazine. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
- Heath, Thomas (January 24, 2010). "Taking on the giants: How Under Armour founder Kevin Plank is going head-to-head with the industry's biggest players". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 25, 2011.
- "From rags to microfiber: inside the rapid rise of Under Armour". CNN. April 9, 2009.
- Plank breaks into billionaire's club", Forbes Magazine, December 2, 2011
- Under Armour website