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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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Under Armour’s Founder on Learning to Leverage Celebrity Endorsements

by Kevin Plank

Kevin Plank is the founder and CEO of Under Armour.

The Idea

Celebrity endorsements used to be fairly straightforward: a face in an ad, a logo on the TV screen. But that world is rapidly changing, and Under Armour’s CEO is nimbly navigating it.

I started Under Armour in 1996, when I was 23 years old and just out of college. The idea for the product was pretty simple. I had played football in high school and college, and I’d hated how the T-shirts I wore under my shoulder pads became soaked with sweat. It wasn’t just uncomfortable—I really believed the extra weight hurt an athlete’s performance. I saw the need for a shirt that would stay dry. I looked at all ...

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