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Takeaway: In over two decades covering this game, I have never seen such an effective jab thrown at Nike.

Under Armour's UA Speedform™ Apollo Breaks New Ground

  • "As part of the brand’s four-day take-over of New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, Under Armour held a press event today to debut the UA SpeedForm™ Apollo running shoe and 'THIS IS WHAT FAST FEELS LIKE,' the newest iteration of the brand’s I WILL™ global marketing campaign."
  • "Under Armour Founder and CEO Kevin Plank unveiled the latest spot and introduced the game-changing running shoe, which was recently named 'Best Debut' by Runner's World magazine in the 2014 Spring Shoe Guide. NFL Pro Bowler Cam Newton, MMA legend Georges St-Pierre and American Ballet Theatre® soloist Misty Copeland joined Plank at the event."

Game Changer? - ua1

Takeaway from Hedgeye Retail Analyst Brian McGough: In over two decades covering this game, I have never seen such an effective jab thrown at Nike. This Speedform shoe is a direct response to Nike's FlyKnit -- which uses a modified cotton loom to weave the upper. UA responded by using its compression fabric and technology -- which it is producing in a bra manufacturing plant -- to create similar product that eliminates waste, lowers cost, and just flat-out looks cool.

Of course, they followed up with an edgy ad that will likely get consumers pumped about the product, while simultaneously making a few hundred people in Beaverton irate at the competitive response. If one thing is certain, it's that when Nike and UnderArmour compete head-to-head (and even AdiBok -- when they show up to the game), the retailers and the consumers always win. 

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