Under Armour got caught in a lie, and now they’re reaping the consequences.
The company claimed to support hunters and the hunting lifestyle, but at the first sign of trouble they abandoned their new clientele and stopped sponsoring the spokeswoman for their new women’s hunting line.
“If Under Armour wants to put itself into play, given the company’s share price situation and his stake, Kevin Plank would have to want to throw in the towel,” Growth Seeker co-manager Chris Versace told TheStreet.
It all started last year when a video went viral of well-known hunter Josh Bowmar killing a bear with a spear. The kill was clean, humane, and legal, but over 4,000 people signed a petition asking Under Armour to end its relationship with Josh’s wife Sarah, who had recently inked a deal with Under Armour to be the face of their new women’s hunting line.
Under Armour caved, prompting a swift and immediate reaction from hunters nationwide. Over 9,000 people signed a petition calling for Under Armour to bring Sarah back to the team (which it didn’t). Bowhunting.com posted several videos of high-profile hunters condemning Under Armour’s move, and one video even depicts a hunter burning his Under Armour gear.
Since then, the sports apparel company has struggled to maintain sales.
ZeroHedge.com reported this week that Under Armour has failed in three main indicators of company success. The company missed on both its top and bottom lines, its sales projections are nearly $1 billion lower than analysts predicted, and its CFO Chip Molloy has left the company “for personal reasons.”
Each of these factors has contributed to a near 30 percent drop in shares and the smallest annual gain since the company went public in 2005.
Under Armour’s betrayal of hunters isn’t the only cause of the company’s collapse. But it can’t be a coincidence that the company has struggled more than ever after it chose to appease extreme animal rights groups rather than its clientele.
There are nearly 14 million hunters in the United States. According to its website, PETA can only boast 5 million members. It’s a rough estimate, but maybe next time Under Armour should consider more carefully which team will be better for business.