Under Armour feels more marketing churn as VP of global brand management departs
- Under Armour's VP of global brand management Adrienne Lofton is leaving the company, a spokesperson confirmed to Ad Age in a report.
- Lofton served in the role since 2015 and led the sportswear brand's latest and largest-ever marketing campaign in terms of global reach and investment, which featured Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The news comes not long after the departure of Under Armour's former Global CMO Andrew Donkin, who left in November 2017 after just 15 months on the job. Pam Catlett, the SVP and general manager of Under Armour's women's and youth arm, also left that November.
- Attica Jaques, who has been with the company for two years, will step in to lead the global brand management team. Jaques previously headed up campaigns targeting women, which the company sees as having growth potential. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank also hinted during a call with analysts last week discussing earnings that the brand may be reworking its marketing strategy, Ad Age said.
As the athletic apparel market has grown more popular, Under Armour has slipped from being a strong performer to struggling to find a concrete brand identity with consumers, especially amid stiff competition from players like Adidas, Nike or even Lululemon. Lofton's departure after just two years as VP of global brand management, which comes on the tails of executive churn late last year, highlights how Under Armour still might be struggling to create marketing that makes an impact and drives sales.
Those struggles come despite flashy, expensive campaigns, like the one starring Johnson, who's frequently acted as pitchman for the brand. "Will Finds a Way" debuted in April and included hundreds of pieces of social media and digital content and additionally featured several well-known athletes in films where they discussed how they overcame obstacles.
Jacques' experience leading campaigns targeted at women, combined with Plank's comments on the earnings call, indicate Under Amrour might try to ramp up its appeals to women, who are spending more on activewear but have often been underserved by brands in the category.
Under Armour spent $565.1 million on advertising in 2017, an 18% increase over the previous year, per Ad Age. For Q2 2018, the sportswear brand reported a revenue increase of 8% to $1.2 billion, according to Retail Dive. Its North American revenue increased 2% to $843 million, while the international business jumped 28% to $302 million, representing 26% of the company's total revenue.