Under Armour (UAA) has developed an effective formula to sell basketball sneakers to the U-16 demographic on Snapchat (SNAP). While SNAP ads run for 10 seconds, UAA has been designing their ads to run 5-6 seconds; with the call-to-action occurring within the first 2 seconds. As a result, they’ve found that consumers are watching the ad 1.5 times (thus more likely to catch message), as opposed to “clicking away from it.” Under Armour’s success on the mobile app has come in the form of lens campaigns and mobile gaming; advertising that took advantage of the platform “to move beyond video and create interactive experiences for consumers.”
Howie Long-Short: The U.S. athletic shoe market grew 2% in 2017 to $19.6 billion, with the kids’ sector growing 1% YOY. Under Armour’s footwear sector had a strong Q4 ‘17, growing 9% YOY and Founder Kevin Plank says he expects the sector (along with women and international) to drive company growth in 2018. With that said, UAA shareholders should temper their excitement. As a category, sport leisure (+17% to $9.6 billion) outperformed performance (-10% to $7.4 billion) in 2017 and there wasn’t a single performance shoe (UAA’s niche) in the Top 10, for sales. It is also worth adding that while UAA’s SNAP campaigns have been successful, NPD Senior Analyst Matt Powell reiterated, “Under Armour has always overindexed with kids and has never carried them to high school.”
Fan Marino: The U-16 crowd spends an exorbitant amount of time on SNAP, so offering a highly-engaged audience entertaining interactive experiences is a sound philosophy on Under Armour’s part. Among their recent successful campaigns were a Dennis Smith Jr. (UAA athlete) lens, during All-Star Weekend (he competed in dunk contest), and a game featuring Steph Curry. Users spent an average of 79 seconds posing next to the virtual version of the Mavs rookie, while the Curry game was played more than 3 million times; with the average user spending 3 minutes playing.
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