Kevin A. Plank (born August 13, 1972) is an American entrepreneur who founded Under Armour, an international activewear brand. He is currently estimated to be worth more than $2.3 billion and is a leading champion of the revitalization of his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.
CEO of Under Armour
|Born||Kevin A. Plank|
|Education||University of Maryland, College Park|
|Known for||Founder, CEO, and Chairman|
|Net worth||US$2.1 billion|
Early Life[edit | edit source]
Kevin Plank was born in Kensington, Maryland, to William and Jayne Plank. His father was a well-known real estate developer throughout Maryland, and his mother served as the mayor of Kensington as well as in various governmental roles, notably within the Reagan Administration’s State Department.
Early on, Kevin Plank showed an aptitude for sports. He developed a love for football, playing the sport throughout the entirety of his elementary and middle school years. Kevin Plank continued to play football in high school where he had aspirations of being recruited to a Division I college team.
However, he ended up changing high schools a number of times throughout his varsity football career. Kevin Plank has named this frequent moving from school to school as a main factor in his failure to be noticed by major college football recruiters.
Not satisfied with playing Division II college football, Plank made the harrowing decision to attempt to join the Division I University of Maryland football team as a walk-on player.
But through his extreme work ethic and natural abilities, Plank was able to secure a spot on the University of Maryland’s football team where he played throughout his college career. Being only accustomed to high-school football workouts, Plank quickly found the brutal college-football drills in the stifling Baltimore heat to be a limit-pushing challenge. He discovered that the cotton shirts he was wearing were inadequate for the amount of sweat that all-out exertion in 90-plus-degree heat produced. He realized that there may be an opportunity in finding new materials that would better wick up sweat, creating a far more comfortable workout experience.
Plank graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. 
Career[edit | edit source]
Under Armour[edit | edit source]
Kevin Plank got the idea for his sportswear line while playing football in college. The cotton T-shirts he wore in practice quickly soaked with sweat. Plank found a synthetic material that wicked moisture and launched the Under Armour business from his grandmother’s basement in 1995. In calling the shirts performance apparel, he created a new category in athletic wear.
Plank initially marketed the brand by giving free shirts to former teammates who had gone on to play in the NFL. The HeatGear shirts were distributed throughout league locker rooms. Georgia Tech was the first team to buy the shirts, and other Division I and NFL teams soon followed suit. Sales at the end of 1996 totaled $17,000.
Under Armour purchased a $25,000 ad in ESPN The Magazine in 1999, generating $1 million in direct sales the following year. The company went public in 2005, and revenues reached $1 billion in 2010. Plank’s estimated net worth in 2015 was $3.5 billion.
That year, Plank envisioned a global digital health platform and purchased two existing fitness apps for $475 million. The network now boasts 150 million users.
Under Armour is popular in every major sport, and several well-known athletes endorse it.
Sagamore Farm[edit | edit source]
Kevin Plank bought Baltimore County’s 530-acre Sagamore Farm in 2007. The farm was once home to Native Dancer, a champion thoroughbred. In buying the farm, Plank hoped to revive Maryland’s horse-breeding tradition. Around 50 horses are in training there.
Sagamore Spirit Distillery[edit | edit source]
Nearby, Plank and partner Bill McDermond founded Sagamore Spirit Distillery. Plank had entertained the idea of starting a winery, but he prefers whiskey. He asked McDermond, a former football teammate, to research the property. McDermond found out that Maryland once produced a significant amount of rye whiskey and that the farm’s limestone aquifer produced high-quality water for whiskey distillation.The 22,000-square-foot distillery has a welcome center, two tasting rooms and a gift shop. An independently owned full-service restaurant is also on the property.
Sagamore’s 83-proof Port Finish Rye won the prestigious Double Gold award at the 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Plank Industries[edit | edit source]
A $5.5 billion project in the Port Covington area will result in 18 million square feet of new development spanning 235 acres. It is expected to transform Baltimore. It will accommodate retail and residential space, office buildings, parks and possibly a music venue. A 50-acre Under Armour corporate campus is also in the works. The Port Covington project is currently the second-largest urban development project in the U.S.
Philanthropy[edit | edit source]
Kevin Plank donated $25 million to the University of Maryland in 2014.
In 2015, he pledged $16 million to St. John’s College High School, his alma mater.
In 2016, he made a $1 million contribution to the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The gift will pay tuition for 100 Catholic school students. He donated $1 million to College Bound so that more Baltimore-area high schoolers can continue their education. He spent $5 million to fund a new learning center for Living Classrooms, a hands-on educational opportunity.
Community Involvement, Entrepreneurship and Awards[edit | edit source]
Kevin Plank serves on the board of trustees of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and on the board of directors of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Greater Baltimore Committee and Greater Washington Partnership.
Plank is involved with the Startup America Partnership, which supports young entrepreneurs, and he started an endowment fund for the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. He also founded Cupid’s Cup, an annual business competition.
Plank has been named Achiever of the Year by Success and Businessperson of the Year by Fortune. He has been named among the 50 Most Influential People in Sports by Sporting News and among the Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under by Forbes.
He was also selected for membership by the editors of Business of Fashion; the BoF 500 is a professional index of noteworthy contributors to the fashion industry.
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Plank married his high school sweetheart, Desiree Guerzon, in 2003. The Planks live in Lutherville, Maryland, with their two children.