For Under Armour, the game is afoot in the Philippines.
by rick olivares
American sports apparel giant Under Armour recently opened in the Philippines and hit the ground running with a high-profile launch at Bonifacio Global City and the sponsorship of the eagerly awaited National Basketball Training Center High School All-Star Game held at the Meralco Gym.
Under Armour with NBA basketball star Stephen Curry as one its most high-profile athletes is known in the trade industry as a company with a strict adherence to ethics in all its endeavors.
In a recent conversation with Adrian Chai, Chief Marketing Officer for Under Armour Southeast Asia, bared that the response to the brand has been tremendous. “With the rise of the brand in the USA,” said Chai. The response so far has been tremendous. In particular, the basketball, compression attire and running range has gained quite significant traction with the technologies built in such as new "Charged Cushioning" and footwear being made and developed in a bra factory. What has been interesting is that the womens’ range has taken traction quite well with many athletes and personalities trying and feeling the difference technology products has to offer.”
Chai added that a few Filipino athletes have joined Under Armour’s pantheon of great stars. Volleyball megastar Gretchen Ho and champions swimmer Johan Aguilar are now part of the stable of athletes that aside from Curry, includes tennis star Andy Murray, Olympian Michael Phelps, ballerina Misty Copeland, and super model Gisele Bundchen.
Regarding the recently concluded NBTC All-Star Game where UAAP Juniors Most Valuable Player Mike Nieto also emerged as the annual event’s best player, Chai shared his enthusiasm for the event, “We were working through Coach Eric Altamirano (NBTC founder) on some programs which may include involving up and coming basketball stars. Looking at the rise of basketball and the love for the game in the Philippines, it was a great opportunity for us to show our support for up and coming players just like the way they do it in the USA with the Elite 24 program.”
Like any top athlete, Under Armour isn’t resting on its laurels. “We are constantly looking to find synergies with different sports to work with the brand,” enthused UA’s CMO. “It is however also important that we do not digress from the core competency of our apparel that involves training and our key sporting categories. We will embark on come exciting programmes in Basketball and also involve locals in our latest Earn Your Armour challenge where Filipinos across the country can join up and as a community to engage and train using Under Armour's recently acquired fitness tracking app Endomondo. We will tie this in with local on ground activations called Armour@The Fort where fans of the brand and others can join in and train up with our partner gyms and trainers.”