Under Armour announces Portland expansion

The sports apparel company will move into a former YMCA building, bolstering its presence in the backyard of its main competitors, Nike and Adidas.

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The sports apparel company will move into a former YMCA building south of downtown Portland, bolstering its presence in the backyard of its main competitors, Nike and Adidas.

Company spokeswoman Diane Pelkey said in a statement: “As Under Armour continues its global expansion, Portland has emerged as a strategic hub for the brand, specifically in footwear and innovation. We are excited to grow our footprint in the city.”

From OregonLive.com:

Under Armour will move about 50 employees, most of them footwear designers, from an office in the North Park Blocks to the new facility.

Under Armour’s expansion further enhances the Portland area’s reputation as an epicenter for footwear and apparel, with the city home to Nike, Adidas America, Columbia Sportswear and Keen.

Matthew Kish of the Portland Business Journal broke the news about midday Monday.

The company’s recent Portland hires include Allan Schrock, a former research and development director at Nike, who appears to be sitting out a non-compete clause before joining the company, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Under Armour also is adding some non-footwear jobs in Portland. The company recently hired consultant Rick Anguilla, former head of investor relations for Nike. Anguilla and his Portland firm, Guidance Counsel, were seen as the driving forces behind Under Armour’s successful push into women’s apparel.

Portland was declared the “big winner” of the move by the director of the University of Oregon’s new Sports Product Management program in a separate report published by PBJ.

It also makes the city an even more attractive place for footwear designers.

“(Under Armour) increasing their presence here further cements Portland as the footwear design destination for any aspiring designer,” said Pensole founder D’Wayne Edwards, in an email. It “will elevate the great design that is already coming out of Portland.”

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales celebrated the expansion in an email published by OregonLive.com.

“This is an exciting expansion for Portland,” Hales said in an email. “Oregon is a hub for the athletic/outdoor apparel industry, so this move makes great sense. Plus, Under Armour has already reached out to discuss how it can support the work of Portland Parks and Recreation to engage kids in sports and other activities.”

Hales visited the Under Armour headquarters in Baltimore earlier this year, said his spokesman, Dana Haynes.

Many declared Portland as the capital of sports wear in light of the move.


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