Under Armour executive explains why the brand doesn’t hire the most elite athletes

Under Armour

Under Armour is the second most popular sportswear company in the US behind Nike.

Since partnering with Stephen Curry, sales have been soaring.

So how does the brand stay on top in an increasingly competitive field?

“What separates us from the clutter is this blue collar work ethic,” vice-president of global brand marketing Adrienne Lofton said to Fast Company. “We’re an underdog brand. We work with athletes who most people wouldn’t or didn’t draft in the first round, or who they wouldn’t traditionally give a prima ballerina title to. We pick that athlete with a chip on their shoulder and their desire to win because it aligns with our own attitude.”

Much like the brand’s ad campaigns that depict athletes working hard towards their goals and the empowering catchphrase “I will what I want,” the company relies on honest, hard work — and no egos.

“The millennial and Gen Z consumer are very used to getting things right when they want it,” she said to the website. “What we want to remind them is that you don’t just get this, you have to work to get it. We wanted to show that greatness is showing up every day at 5 a.m. when everyone else is asleep. Steph Curry won the NBA championship and MVP because he trained everyday, got up when he fell down, continuing to drive with all that unsexy work to achieve his goals.”

Under Armour was the underdog not too long ago; CEO Kevin Plank has told the story of a time he had to team up with his co-workers to withdraw $US8,000 out of an ATM to get golfers to wear Under Armour attire at the Masters.

But now, the hard work has obviously paid off, thanks to Under Armour’s ethos.

“A lot of brands are about that initial motivation — just do it, get up and go — we talk about how sustaining that effort is what makes the difference for an elite athlete, and we want to be the brand to show you how to do it,” Lofton said to Fast Company.

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