Under Armour struck gold Sunday with Jordan Spieth’s Masters win.
Several years ago, the Baltimore-based company was scrambling to get golfers to wear its gear on the course.
Now it’s celebrating a Masters win by one of its sponsored athletes.
Under Amour signed 21-year-old Spieth two years ago after failing to fork up enough cash to compete with Nike for a sponsorship with Rory McIlroy, who finished fourth in this year’s competition.
The partnership with Spieth was a big deal at the time for Under Armour, which once had to offer a golfer $US8,000 up-front to wear its gear at the Masters, according to ESPN.
“Three of us had to team up so we could get $US8,000 out of the ATM to pay him to wear our clothes for the weekend,” Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank told ESPN. “That’s who we were and who we are. We find an angle and we go after it, which is exactly what Jordan does.”
Under Armour has come a long way since then.
The company has won a number of high-profile endorsement deals over the last year with athletes including boxing legend Muhammad Ali, NBA All-Star Stephen Curry, supermodel Gisele Bundchen and ballerina Misty Copeland.
Under Armour also recently surpassed Adidas to become the second-biggest sportswear brand in the US by sales.
Best known for its performance wear, Under Armour has grown rapidly over the past 18 years. When it was founded in 1996, it had $US17,000 in revenue. In 2014, sales soared 32% over the previous year to $US3.08 billion. This year, the company is expected to bring in $US3.76 billion.
That is still only a fraction of Nike’s sales, which totaled $US27.8 billion in fiscal 2014.
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