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How Under Armour Is Rethinking Its Logo Placement on Some Lifestyle Shoes

Under Armour is toning down its logo placement on some key shoe silhouettes as it looks to get consumers interested in wearing its shoes outside of the gym.

In a call with analysts discussing the company’s third quarter results, chief executive officer Stephanie Linnartz explained how the Baltimore, Md.-based company’s shoe design teams have opted for more subtle placements of the company’s logo — two mirroring U shapes linked in the center and facing alternate directions. The fashion-conscious change comes as the historically performance-focused brand leans more heavily into lifestyle footwear designs.

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For example, Under Armour’s Forge 96 lifestyle sneaker features a mesh and nubuck leather upper with a small, subtle UA logo on the heel tab. The brand’s UA Summit Trek shoes also feature a small, almost hard to find UA logo on the side of the shoe.

In a note to investors last week, Williams Trading analyst Sam Poser called out the Forge 96 as an example of improved product from Under Armour, highlighting the shoe’s “subtle logo treatment.” During Under Armour’s Thursday call with analysts, Poser asked Linnartz about the company’s philosophy regarding logo use, especially on products like the Forge that he said “don’t scream with the big UA logo and seem to be doing generally better than most of the non-Curry product.”

“On the Forge and some other ones, [the logos are] there, but they’re more discrete,” Poser told Linnartz on Thursday’s call. “It makes the shoe more flexible rather than having the big Under Armour logo on the side of the shoe, which then makes it more active. Having it more discrete seems to make it more stylish regardless of what the design of the shoe is or apparel for that matter.”

Linnartz said that strategies around the logo depend on the type of shoe, but style is always a factor. “Our design teams always do a terrific job of finding the most appropriate, elegant and stylish way to place our logo,” she said.

While brands like Nike might be able to cultivate demand and loyalty for their shoes by featuring their iconic Swoosh prominently, Under Armour’s logo is less ubiquitous. And its $1.5 billion shoe business, which represented just a quarter of its total revenues in 2023, is smaller than Nike’s massive shoe business, which makes up more than half its total sales.

For Under Armour, part of growing footwear will hinge on wins in the lifestyle category. In pursuit of this broader goal, the company recently tapped rock ’n’ roll-inspired menswear designer John Varvatos as chief design officer and Puma’s former head of sportstyle footwear Yassine Saidi as chief product officer.

“We’ll continue to always be evolving and looking at the best way to — like all world-class brands — use our logo,” Linnartz said. She also noted that most of the new product to emerge in the lifestyle shoe category will start to come into market in Spring/Summer of 2025.

“Throughout all of that, our talented design teams will be figuring out the best way to place the Under Armour logo for maximum return,” she said. “We’re excited about where we’re headed with product, including the best use of our logo.”

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