February Merchant Spotlight: Under Armour


January 27, 2016

Louis Rownd, Operations Manager - eCommerce
Christina Jordano, Senior Fraud Analyst - eCommerce Under Armour

What processes do you have in place that protect against fraud, chargebacks and account takeovers?

Under Armour has aligned itself with the most trusted brand protection forces in the industry. We value our partnerships with Accertify as our eCommerce fraud prevention platform, WhitePagesPro as our data validation service, and the MRC as our fraud network. We have adopted the practice of proactively reaching out to victim cardholders to alert them to suspected fraud. We pride ourselves on alerting the consumer before their bank. It's the right practice for our brand as we take the security of our customers more seriously than sports apparel. Our fraud team takes point on the manual review of orders and maintains ownership of resolving chargebacks. When researching disputes our team uses data across multiple purchase funnels, customer interactions, and behavior patterns to determine the validity of the dispute. These data points roll into our key performance indicators (KPIs). We are a KPI driven brand, constantly evaluating our KPIs and believe in "knowing our numbers." Our number one asset is our team. We have built a team that we believe is the gold standard in fraud prevention. A team built with a focus on a global vision, brand protection, intellectual honesty, "married to data," unmatched patience, and a passion for story-telling.

What is the most common type of attempted online fraud you see at Under Armour?

As a top athletic performance brand, we see a variety of fraud attempts. Ranging from digital gift cards, to footwear and gloves, Under Armour is always a target. As a premium brand we are also concerned with counterfeit merchandise. Large eCommerce purchases shipping to unauthorized resellers are a major concern. Protecting our customers by ensuring the product they are purchasing, in the channel they prefer, is our top priority. Defending the Under Armour product is a top concern of the eCommerce fraud prevention team. Under Armour has assembled top talent in this space to target authorized resellers and those looking to counterfeit our merchandise.

How do you benefit from MRC membership? What MRC resources do you rely on?

We view the MRC as a valuable partner in fraud prevention. We were excited to see the MRC roll out their new website in late summer 2015. With the addition of the member forums, the additions of new members, and a talent board, the MRC will continue to foster an environment where brands align to prevent fraud. The value in partnering with the MRC is the opportunity to join the top brands in the world. There is not another place in business where companies that are fierce competitors on the field come together to strategize about protecting their brands. There is no competition in fraud. The melding of the minds and sharing of data is the true value of the MRC. As the top social network of brand protectors in fraud, the MRC is facilitator of fraud prevention advancement and its value is in community.

What consumer benefits do you offer that set you apart from your competitors?

Founded in 1996 by former University of Maryland football player Kevin Plank, Under Armour is the originator of performance apparel gear engineered to keep athletes cool, dry and light throughout the course of a game, practice or workout. The technology behind Under Armour's diverse product assortment for men, women and youth is complex, but the program for reaping the benefits is simple: wear HeatGear® when it's hot, ColdGear® when it's cold, and AllSeasonGear® between the extremes. Our mission is to make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation. Through our suite of Connected Fitness platforms, UA Record, MayMyFitness, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal, we boast the world's largest digital health and fitness community with 160 million members and counting. Under Armour is a technology company that designs performance apparel and also builds software that powers the most pioneering Connected Fitness ecosystem on the planet. Partnerships with IBM and HTC solidify Under Armour as the leading technology sportswear company. We look forward to sharing the future of fitness with our customers.

According to your website, net revenues increased 28% in the third quarter of 2015 to $1.20 billion compared with net revenues of $938 million in the prior year's period. What contributed to this substantial increase?

2015 was an incredible year for the brand. Steph Curry caught fire leading the Warriors to an NBA Championship and claiming the crown of league MVP. Jordan Spieth, the number one golfer in the world, became the youngest player ever to win both the Masters and The U.S. Open in the same year. Misty Copeland became the first African-American to be promoted to the principal dancer in the American Ballet theatre's 75 year history. Our viral "I Will What I Want" campaign, led by Misty and Gisele Buncheon, inspired the masses with 1.5 billion impressions. Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals swung his way to the 2015 NL MVP. It was a championship year for The Brand and we look forward to a successful 2016, working hard to make all athletes better at what they do. In 2015, team Under Armour, powered by the greatest athletic gear on the planet, dominated. In early 2015 Under Armour made two strategic acquisitions; we acquired Endomondo and MyFitnessPal. With their combined 100 million users, stacked with the 2013 acquisition of MapMyFitness we have positioned ourselves as the global leader in innovative fitness with 160 million members in our fitness community. This offers our customers the world's largest, and only, social fitness network.

The second half of our formula is Team. Under Armour has assembled a team of all-stars; a team that embraces fitness, wellness, and innovation. A team comprised of executives that are the thought-leaders in their industry and the best at their craft -- who obsess over increasing the value our customers receive from our digital and physical products. Proprietary talent sets Under Armour apart. Part of our culture is a salacious appetite for competition and curiosity. The key to building a winning brand is building an incredible roster of influencers combined with the smartest, hardest working, most innovative professionals on the planet. We are the "oldest" startup in the market. As a company founded nearly 20 years ago, we govern ourselves with the hunger and humility of a startup. Good judgment, relentless energy, and the ability to anticipate our customer needs before anyone else is a celebrated practice at UA. Join us as we continue to build a company where technology and clothing meet. BE HUMBLE AND STAY HUNGRY.