Kevin Plank
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Kevin Plank
Kevin Plank
Kevin Plank - UA photo.JPG
Born (1972-08-13) August 13, 1972 (age 45)
Kensington, Maryland, U.S.
Residence Lutherville, Maryland, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University of Maryland, College Park
Occupation Businessman
Known for Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Under Armour
Salary $2,434,209 (2015)[1]
Net worth Decrease US $2.4 billion (Aug 2016)[2]
Desiree "D.J." Guerzon
Children 2

Kevin A. Plank (born August 13, 1972) is an American entrepreneur and businessman. Plank is the founder, CEO and Chairman of Under Armour, a manufacturer of sports performance apparel, footwear and accessories, based in Baltimore.

Early life

Kevin Plank grew up in Kensington, Maryland, a suburb of Washington D.C., one of five brothers. His father, William, was a prominent Maryland land developer. His mother, Jayne (née Harper), is a former mayor of Kensington, who went on to direct the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the United States Department of State under President Ronald Reagan.[3]

Plank grew up playing football for the Maplewood Maple Leafs, which have appeared in a few Under Armour commercials. A lifelong Roman Catholic, he left Georgetown Preparatory School because of poor academic performance and behavioral issues, but went on to play football at Fork Union Military Academy. He graduated from St. John's College High School.[4] He later attended the University of Maryland and graduated in 1996.[5] His roommate at Maryland was a football player and professional wrestler Darren Drozdov. Following a 1999 in-ring accident which left Drozdov quadriplegic, Plank personally financed his customized wheelchair.[6]

Plank married Desiree Guerzon in 2003.[7]

Career

At the University of Maryland, Plank launched various businesses. He developed Cupid's Valentine, an annual business that sold roses for Valentine's Day. He made $17,000 from the rose business, which eventually became seed money for Under Armour.[8] He stated that the original concept for Under Armour arose because he was the "sweatiest guy on the football field". Frustrated by his sweat-soaked cotton T-shirts' inability to keep him dry and comfortable, he searched for a material that would wick the sweat from his body.[9]

Plank, upon graduating from Maryland in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, searched for synthetic materials to test his hypothesis. He tried several prototypes before deciding on the one he wanted to use.[10] He then asked his former teammates to try on the shirts, claiming that his alternative to a cotton T-shirt would enhance their performance on the field. As his friends moved on to play professionally, he would send them T-shirts, requesting that they pass them out to other players in their locker rooms. A turning point for him and his start-up, Under Armour, which was based out of a Georgetown row house owned by his grandmother, came late in 1999. A $25,000 advertisement in ESPN The Magazine resulted in $1 million in direct sales for the following year and athletes and teams began buying the product.[9]

In 2003, Under Armour's first television advertisement showed a football squad huddled around Plank's former University of Maryland teammate Eric Ogbogu, shouting "we must protect this house". The phrase became a sales slogan for Under Armour.

In 2012, Plank was named #3 on Forbes annual 40 Under 40 list,[11] and #3 on Forbes list of America's 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under.[12] The company's revenues reached $1 billion for 2010. He is the company's biggest shareholder and has majority voting control, owning all 12.5 million of Under Armour's Class B shares, worth $720 million in August 2011. In December 2011, his net worth was estimated by Forbes at $1.05 billion.[13] In April 2015, his net worth was estimated at $3.5 billion.

As of the start of 2017, Plank's real estate firm, Sagamore Development, was leading a multi-billion-dollar mixed-use development project in Baltimore's Port Covington neighborhood. The company had acquired at least 148 acres in the area and planned to build a mix of offices, residential areas, retail space, parks, boat launches and more.[14][15] Sagamore's development projects included the redevelopment of a former garage into a startup hub,[15] the construction of a distillery[16] and the development of an upscale hotel in Recreation Peir in Fells Point Baltimore.[17]

Donations

Politics

Plank has made donations to numerous Republican candidates, including $2,000 to Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign in 2008.[18][19]

According to Federal Election Commission, Plank has donated to both parties and to individuals of both parties.[20]

In 2013, Plank purchased a mansion in the Georgetown section of Washington D.C. for $7.85 million.[21]

Other

Plank has been a long-time supporter of the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business and Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. In addition to sitting on the University's Board of Trustees, he played an integral role in the development of an endowment fund that the Dingman Center uses to invest in viable startup businesses. He is also responsible for the development of the annual Cupid's Cup business competition. The competition got its name from his "Cupid's Valentine" rose business he began while attending the University.

Plank is also active within the Baltimore and Washington D.C. communities sitting on the Board of Directors for the Baltimore City Fire Foundation, the Greater Baltimore Committee and Greater Washington Sports Alliance. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for Living Classrooms, a Baltimore-Washington based non-profit organization dedicated to the hands-on education of young people using urban, natural and maritime environments as "living classrooms". [22] In 2016, he donated $1 million through The Cupid Foundation to the Baltimore based nonprofit, CollegeBound.[23]

Plank is a member the Board of Trustees for the National Football Foundation and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. His involvement in philanthropy has also translated to his business. Under Armour supports the V Foundation for cancer research and has its own Power in Pink campaign, raising funds for breast cancer research and education. In addition, Under Armour supports the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the Rock Foundation, Ronald McDonald House and Conservation Fund. The Company also has a "Give Back" program, encouraging employees to become involved with local charities.[24]

In November 2014, Plank made a pledge of $25 million to the University of Maryland to be used for the proposed athletics and academic complex.[25]

Controversy

In 2007, Plank purchased historic Sagamore Farm in Baltimore County, Maryland with hopes to restore the farm, and raise a Triple Crown winning horse. He has received tax credits for the 426-acre farm since 2007, resulting in a tax bill of no more than $20,000 annually. Questions have been raised on whether or not Sagamore Farm merits tax breaks, since the tax breaks are traditionally used for Maryland farmers.[26]

In February 2017 Plank expressed support for Donald Trump on a sports talk show, leading to negative responses from sponsored athletes and teams.[27] On August 14, 2017, Plank announced that he was stepping down as a member of Trump's American Manufacturing Council stating that his sportswear company "engages in innovation and sports, not politics", also hinting disappointment that Donald Trump did not condemn the white supremacists during the 2017 Unite the Right rally.[28][29]

References

  1. ^ "Definitive Proxy Statement". EDGAR. March 11, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Kevin Plank - Forbes". Forbes. Retrieved 2016. 
  3. ^ "The man behind the 'Armour'". 
  4. ^ Palmisano, Trey (April 9, 2009). "From rags to microfiber: inside the rapid rise of Under Armour". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2012. 
  5. ^ Roberts, Daniel (November 7, 2011). "Under Armour Gets Serious". Fortune. 164 (7): 156. ISSN 0015-8259. Retrieved 2011. 
  6. ^ Ross, Jim. "WWE's Darren Drozdov thrives 15 years after being paralyzed during match". FOX Sports. Retrieved 2016. 
  7. ^ "The man behind the 'armour'". 
  8. ^ Dessauer, Carin (March-April 2009). "Team Player". Bethesda Magazine. Retrieved 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Heath, Thomas (January 24, 2010). "Taking on the giants: How Under Armour founder Kevin Plank is going head-to-head with the industry's biggest players". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011. 
  10. ^ "From rags to microfiber: inside the rapid rise of Under Armour". CNN. April 9, 2009. 
  11. ^ Smith, Jacquelyn. "America's 20 Most Powerful CEOs 40 And Under". Retrieved 2017. 
  12. ^ Coster, Helen (10 February 2010). "America's 15 Most Powerful CEOs 40 And Under". Retrieved 2017. 
  13. ^ Plank breaks into billionaire's club", Forbes Magazine, December 2, 2011
  14. ^ Sun, Baltimore. "Marylander of the Year: Kevin Plank". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  15. ^ a b Sherman, Natalie. "Plank's Sagamore Development plans start-up hub in Port Covington". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  16. ^ Sherman, Natalie. "Sagamore Development presents designs for Port Covington distillery". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  17. ^ "Here's what you'll pay to stay at Kevin Plank's Sagamore Pendry hotel". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  18. ^ "Kevin Plank - $2,000 in Political Contributions for 2008". campaignmoney.com. 
  19. ^ "Kevin Plank - $3,600 in Political Contributions for 2014". campaignmoney.com. 
  20. ^ "Search Campaign Finance Data by Individual Contributor". fec.gov. Retrieved 2017. 
  21. ^ "Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank reportedly buys Georgetown mansion". Retrieved 2014. 
  22. ^ "Kevin Plank". TNEM. Retrieved 2017. 
  23. ^ Green, Erica L. "Kevin Plank donates $1 million to Baltimore's CollegeBound Foundation". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  24. ^ "Under Armour, Inc. - Brand News". uabiz.com. 
  25. ^ Barker, Jeff (November 20, 2014). "Plank giving $25 million for UM athletic, academic project". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2014. 
  26. ^ Jr., Edward Ericson. "All The Pretty Tax Breaks: Millions in tax dollars prop up Maryland's beloved but failing horse industry". Retrieved 2017. 
  27. ^ Payne, Marissa (February 10, 2017). "The backlash against Under Armour CEO's Trump comments has gone global". Washington Post. 
  28. ^ Rosenfeld, Everett (2017-08-14). "Under Armour CEO adds his name to those leaving Trump's manufacturing council". CNBC. Retrieved . 
  29. ^ Kazin, Matthew (August 14, 2017). "Under Armour CEO steps down from Trump's manufacturing council". FOXBusiness. Retrieved 2017. 

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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