Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) has been a leading performer in the performance apparel space since its 1996 launch. The Baltimore-based company made a splash with its lines of sportswear and accessories made from synthetic microfibers that help regulate body temperature and improve athletic performance. But like many retailers, Under Armour is struggling to compete with Amazon and other online retailers, resulting in disappointing earnings for much of 2018. That same year, Ryan Kuehl, senior vice president of global sports, and Walker Jones, senior director of sports marketing, were both let go, reportedly after an internal review of their team.

Despite its recent hiccups, Under Armour still remains a powerful player in the athletic apparel market, with an impressive $9.67 billion market capitalization, as of Dec. 11, 2018. Not surprisingly, its five largest individual shareholders (listed below) are all current and former Under Armour executives.

Key Takeaways

  • Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) has been a leading performer in the performance apparel space since its 1996 launch. The Baltimore-based company made a splash with its lines of sportswear and accessories made from synthetic microfibers that help regulate body temperature and improve athletic performance.
  • The top 5 shareholders in the company are current and existing executives. They are:
  1. Kevin Plank, Founder, and CEO
  2. Patrik Frisk, President, and Chief Operating Officer
  3. Michael S. Lee, Former Chief Digital Officer
  4. Harvey L. Sanders, Independent Director
  5. Kip Fulks, Strategic Advisor

1. Kevin Plank, Founder, and CEO

Founder Kevin Plank has held the position of CEO and chairman of the board since 1996 and was president between 1996 and 2008. Plank is on the boards of the National Football Foundation, the College Hall of Fame Inc. and the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. His academic qualifications include a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland. 

Plank is the largest Under Armour shareholder, with 33.8 million Class C shares owned indirectly through a series of trusts. Although he only directly owns 16,738 Class A shares of the company, he has an additional 34.7 million Class A and Class B shares in stock options, according to the company's Mar. 28, 2018 filing with the SEC. Plank's stake in the Under Armour affords him 65% of the company's voting power.

2. Patrik Frisk, President, and Chief Operating Officer

Patrik Frisk, Under Armour’s current President and chief operating officer (COO), brings nearly 30 years of industry experience to his role, having formerly directed brands like The North Face and Timberland. He most recently served as CEO of multinational footwear company Aldo. Frisk joined Under Armour in June 2017, replacing Kevin Plank as President. According to an Aug. 15, 2018 filing with the SEC, Frisk owns 611,235 Class C shares of Under Armour, earning him the title of the company's second-largest shareholder. 

3. Michael S. Lee, Former Chief DigitalOfficer

Michael Lee formerly served as Under Armour's chief digital officer, a position he held since July 2016. Lee joined the company in March 2015 after Under Armour acquired MyFitnessPal--an app he founded--for $475 million. Lee and his brother Albert Lee left the company in January 2018, amid a broader restructuring plan. According to Lee's most recent filing with the SEC on Feb. 14, 2017, he remains the company's third-largest shareholder, with 391,998 Class C shares.

4. Harvey L. Sanders, Independent Director

Under Armour’s fourth-largest individual shareholder, Harvey Sanders has been an independent director of Under Armour since November 2004. He previously served as the CEO and president of Nautica Enterprises Inc. between 1977 and 1993 and is a board member of the Boomer Esiason Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis, as well as the Starlight Starbright Foundation. Sanders also serves on the board of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation. According to an Oct. 1, 2018 filing with the SEC, Sanders owns 268,689 Class C shares of Under Armour. 

5. Kip Fulks, Strategic Advisor

Under Armour co-founder Kip Fulks has a long association with the company, occupying several prominent positions over the years. Formerly responsible for managing quality assurance and product development between 1997 and 2008, Fulks is now the company's strategic advisor, a role he's held since May 2017. Fulks was formerly president of footwear and innovation from March 2015 to October 2015, chief operating officer (COO) between 2011 and 2015, and chief product officer from 2016-2017. He is the company’s fifth-largest direct shareholder, with 261,356 Class C shares as of his Feb. 15, 2018 filing with the SEC.