By The Graphic Edge • February 1, 2017

How a Sweaty T-Shirt Launched Under Armour

Kevin Plank, founder, CEO and Chairman of Under ArmourNever has the quote Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration” been more germane than when applied to the origin story of Under Armour. It was, after all, a sweat-soaked football player from the University of Maryland who thought “There has to be something better.”

It was 1995, the player was Kevin Plank and the “better” he was looking for was an alternative to the traditional cotton t-shirts he and his teammates wore under their shoulder pads — t-shirts that quickly became sweat-soaked and heavy. Failing to find a better solution, he set out to create one.

Building a Better T-Shirt

Plank scoured New York’s garment district for the perfect fabric and, with feedback from former teammates and current players, he fine-tuned his design to create a microfiber, moisture-wicking shirt that stayed dry and light even in the most oppressive heat. It would revolutionize the way athletes suit up.

Working from his grandmother’s basement and with his credit cards maxed out to finance his first production run, Plank traveled up and down the east coast, selling shirts a handful at a time to individual athletes. His first team sale came about one year later to Georgia Tech. Other Division I schools followed soon after along with two NFL teams.

The brand was thrust into the public conscious in 1999 when Warner Brothers tapped Under Armour to provide uniforms for two upcoming movies —  The Replacements, starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman, and Any Given Sunday, directed by Oliver Stone.

Fast forward to today and Under Armour is one of the most recognized and respected names in performance apparel. Far beyond that original moisture-wicking tee shirt, UA now offers uniforms, shoes, and coach’s apparel for virtually all major sports. The brand has even found its way into corporate boardrooms as their polos and dress shirts have become popular choices for logoed business wear.

That being said, it’s important to note that moisture management t-shirts are still a staple of the Under Armour catalog. Not surprisingly, those t-shirts are among the most popular products that we offer here at The Graphic Edge. The Locker Tee in particular is the first choice of teams, companies, and groups that want custom Under Armour for their players, fans, families, and employees.

Design Your Own Custom Under Armour T-Shirts

Here at The Graphic Edge we’re incredibly proud to be one of a select few companies who are allowed to screen print, embroider, or otherwise decorate Under Armour apparel. You might say that UA was one of the brands that helped to build our brand. Now we’d like to put your logo, team name, or mascot on UA product to help build your brand. Ready to get started?

Design Your UA T-Shirt Now