MArch 27,2010-Under Armour has earned a world wide reputation for athletic apparel worn by athletes of major sports like football. Now the south Baltimore Company is hoping to make a similar impact in the tennis world.
In a new effort to promote tennis apparel, Under Armour has signed into an agreement with the Junior Tennis Champion Center at College Park, Maryland. The company will supply gear to the centers’ coaches and instructors who will wear and test new products.
The JTCC houses a training program that leads young tennis players from their introduction to the game through the top levels of competition from college to the professional ranks.
Rob Ginepri, a top ranked American player, is already an endorser of Under Armour which is planning to add some additional names.
Tennis apparel is not new to Under Armour, which brought out its version in 2007, but the results have not shown large sales.According to Tori Hanna, director of women's sports marketing for Under Armour, Under Armour’s retail partners were not too impressed with its tennis line.
In the 24 billion dollar sports apparel industry, tennis has not been a strong performer, but Under Armour feels that it can capture a small portion of the market. "The business might not be as big as some of the other sports, but they are the players who are on TV for three hours when the camera is totally on them," Hanna said.
In 2009, tennis apparel slipped according to Sports OneSource, while tennis equipment stayed in the range of 250 million for the last few years.
A spokesman for the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, Mike May, said "The strategy Under Armour is using for tennis is one that has brought the company success in the past. The key to Under Armour's success has been getting involved on the grass-roots level. It is a plan that has worked well for other products, so should work well for tennis."