In 1996, Kevin Plank, a 23-year-old former University of Maryland special teams captain, turned an idea born on the football field into a new industry that changed the way athletes dress forever. Back in his playing days, Plank hated having to change his sweat-soaked cotton T-shirts over and over again during two-a-days. Knowing that there simply had to be something better, he set out to create a solution.
Plank named his new company Under Armour, and after extensive research on the athletic benefits of synthetic fabrics, he designed the first Under Armour HeatGear® T-shirt, which he named the #0037. Engineered with moisture-wicking performance fibers, the shirt helps keep athletes cool, dry, and light in the most brutally hot conditions.
Working from his grandmother’s basement in Washington DC’s Georgetown neighborhood, he traveled up and down the East Coast selling his revolutionary new product out of the trunk of his car. By the end of 1996, Plank made his first team sale, and Under Armour generated $17,000 in sales.
In 1997, Under Armour introduced the now-famous ColdGear® fabric, which keeps athletes warm, dry, and light in cold conditions, and then the AllSeasonGear® line, which keeps athletes comfortable between the extremes.
By the end of 1998, Under Armour outgrew grandma’s basement and moved to an all-new headquarters and warehouse in Baltimore.