Under Armour Opening First Store

The activewear firm will open its 8,000-square-foot Brand House in the Harbor East section of Baltimore on Saturday.

A rendering of the store.

This is going to be a big weekend for Under Armour.

This story first appeared in the February 13, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

On Saturday, the Baltimore-based brand will open the doors to its first store at the same time that it launches its largest global marketing campaign.

In a multimedia presentation in New York City on Tuesday afternoon, Kevin Plank, chief executive officer and founder of the company, said the primary purpose of opening the 8,000-square-foot Brand House in the Harbor East section of Baltimore is to “get us closer to the consumer.” It will allow the company to tell its story in its own specially designed venue in its own voice, he added. Among the elements in the store will be an Innovation Station inside the front entrance that will showcase the company’s latest technological advances, as well as areas dedicated to the company’s men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, footwear and accessories. It will be the largest depth of product to date.

“This is so much store,” Plank said, adding that there will be 74 full mannequins and a 700-pound carved wooden Under Armour logo installed in the store. “This will be a premium shopping experience,” he said.

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In addition, Under Armour’s new “I Will” campaign will make its debut on TNT on Saturday during the NBA All-Star Weekend. The spot will air on other networks as well, including ESPN and MTV. The 60-second spot depicts athletes training in the brand’s newest and most technologically advanced products and includes Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s superwelterweight world champion; Sloane Stephens, the teenage tennis star; Bryce Harper, baseball’s National League Rookie of the Year, and Kemba Walker of the NBA.

Among the products launching for spring is Armour 39, a new digital performance-monitoring system that tracks heart rate, calories burned and intensity during workouts. It will be incorporated into jog bras for women and will also work off a chest strap, which will retail for $149.99. The company will eventually incorporate the technology into a training shirt, Plank said.

Other products showcased at the event included the new Coldgear Infrared insulated apparel collection, as well as the UA Spine Venom running shoe and the Micro G Toxic Six minimalist footwear. The Infrared apparel uses ceramic-infused ink to coat garments and help athletes retain heat when it’s cold, but does not impact breathability or moisture management.