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Plank recently stated that “Women’s apparel some day will be larger than our men’s apparel business, which is our goal”.

'It is aiming at the “team girl,” which Adrienne Lofton, head of Under Armour’s women’s apparel, defines as a female who is competitive and confident and who plays on high school or college sports teams, or who, after college, continues to work out regularly.'

To that end, in August it launched a 'newly designed line, with compression shorts, a sports bra, shorts, footwear and other training gear... with a campaign called “Protect This House I Will”.

'The Baltimore company’s new television and digital campaign for women from ages 13 to 24 features several athletes, the most famous being Lindsey Vonn, the Olympic-winning Alpine skier, undertaking rigorous, even grueling, workouts — strained muscles, sweat and all.'

In the process it's squaring off against Canada's Lululemon, which dominates the $15 billion women's fitness apparel market.

'Affluent women willing to fork over $100 for yoga pants or $60 for a tank-top have helped the high-flying Canadian company wallop quarterly earnings expectations and drive same-store sales up 31 percent.'

'Lululemon's success is attributed to a business model that marries fashion with functionality, quality and lifestyle, a grassroots branding strategy unlike its competitors and owning the distribution of its products. Its intimate boutique-style stores appeal to women who want the premium customer service.

Lululemon reaches out to local fitness instructors, driving brand awareness through word of mouth. Their stores and showrooms offer free classes, workshops and community events.'

As both articles detail, UA's been there before, with not much to show for it. Marketing to women - particularly the upmarket ones tapped by Lululemon - is, literally, a whole different ball game. Very few brands compete equally well across gender lines. Let's hope UA proves to be one of them!
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