Regardless of the print, expect to hear a lot about the launch of the 'Spine' lightweight runner. Early trends are positive. Here's some context on the product.
While apparel is still (unfortunately) the overwhelming driver for UA, you should expect Plank to allocate a good amount of the conference call's real estate to UA’s new “Spine” lightweight running shoe. Here's some context so you know what he's talking about.
Consider the Following:
- The “Spine” represents UA’s initial entrance into the lightweight running market. The new design is more of an entry level lightweight shoe weighing 9.7oz vs. Nike’s Free at 8.6oz and Saucony’s Kinvara at 7.7oz but remains UA’s lightest shoe to date.
- Importantly, the launch of the “Spine” lays the foundation for the Spine technology (minimal material sole) which will be implemented into other UA FW designs including Football and Basketball.
- HIBB noted on its 1Q12 call ahead of the launch that UA “hit the market well this time” referencing the Spine and indicated they would carry the shoe in more doors than past releases.
- The “Spine” sells at an ~$100 ASP compared to the Charge RC at $120, the Micro G Split at $90, Micro G Stealth at $80 and Assert at $70.
- UA currently has ~1% market share in the running category, down from ~1.2% in 2010- UA need’s to execute on its launches in order to reaccelerate share gains.
- Taking into account the scope of the sample, UA’s “Spine” unit volume in its first 3-weeks in the market has been well above that of Micro G split/Stealth and Charge RC launches on both an absolute basis and as a percent of total units sold.
- While week 3 volume is on par with the UA Assert which launched at the beginning of 2011, the “Spine” is sold at a $30 premium to the $70 Assert.