Under Armor feels more marketing churn with departure of VP of Global Brand Management

Dive brief:

  • Adrienne Lofton, vice president of global brand management at Under Armor, is leaving the company, a spokesperson confirmed to Ad Age in a report.
  • Lofton has held this role since 2015 and led the latest and greatest activities of the sportswear brand. the largest marketing campaign ever in terms of global reach and investment, which starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The news comes shortly after the departure of the former Global from Under Armor Marketing director André Donkin, who left in November 2017 after just 15 months of work. Pam Catlett, senior vice president and general manager of the Women and Youth branch of Under Armor, also left in November.
  • Attica Jaques, who has been with the company for two years, will lead the global brand management team. Jaques previously ran campaigns targeting women, whom the company sees as having growth potential. Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank also hinted during a call with analysts last week discussing profits that the brand may revisit its marketing strategy, Ad Age said.

Dive overview:

As the sportswear market grew in popularity, Under Armor went from being a successful company to struggling to find a concrete brand identity with consumers, especially in the face of fierce competition from players like Adidas, Nike or even Lululemon. Lofton’s departure after just two years as vice president of global brand management, following the executive churn at the end of last year, shows just how much Under Armor could still struggle to create marketing that has impact and drives sales.

These struggles come despite flashy and expensive campaigns, like the one featuring Johnson, who has often played the role of pitchman for the brand. “Will Finds a Way” debuted in April and featured hundreds of social media and digital content elements and additionally featured several well-known athletes in films where they discussed how they overcame obstacles.

Jacques’ experience leading campaigns targeting women, combined with Plank’s comments on the call for results, indicates that Under Amrour may try to increase its appeal to women, who spend more on sportswear. but which have often been underserved by brands in the category.

Under Armor spent $ 565.1 million on advertising in 2017, an 18% increase from the previous year, per Ad age. For the second quarter of 2018, the sportswear brand reported an 8% revenue increase to $ 1.2 billion, according to Retail Dive. Its North American revenue grew 2% to $ 843 million, while international operations jumped 28% to $ 302 million, accounting for 26% of the total revenue of the business.

Cathy W. Howerton