Under Armour has been aggressively investing in high-profile endorsement deals and building up its women's business in a bid to chip away at Nike's athletic empire.
The Baltimore-based company just announced a deal with boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
The agreement comes just days after the company signed NBA All-Star Stephen Curry and announced the launch of its biggest global brand campaign to date, which will feature ads starring Curry and actor Jamie Foxx.
Under Armour is making these investments after sales already increased 32% from the previous year to $3.08 billion in 2014. The company 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 $17,000 in revenue. This year it is expected to bring in $3.76 billion.
That is still only a fraction of Nike's sales, which totaled $27.8 billion in fiscal 2014.
But Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank is confident his company can become a more formidable opponent to Nike.
That is why Under Armour has increased its focus on endorsement deals, an area in which Nike has always excelled.
In addition to Curry and Ali, Under Armour also recently signed deals with supermodel Gisele Bundchen and ballerina Misty Copeland shortly after launching its largest-ever global women's marketing campaign. And early last year, Under Armour scored the biggest equipment deal in college sports.
The company recently lost a bid for basketball star Kevin Durant to Nike, but Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said he was not deterred by the failure.
"We're going to grow 20%-plus next year with or without the deal," Plank told Bloomberg TV's Stephanie Ruhle. "We wanted to send a message to every athletic director, to every president of every team club, to every league commissioner, that if you have a deal, there's no deal too big for us."
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