I’ve said it before, as a data nerd I wait with the anticipation of Christmas morning for each new refresh of mediaQuant metrics. I wasn’t all that surprised that Under Armor (no change at 78 points) repeated its media rating high from the prior month. The good news is the brand is still gaining ground on the two market leaders, Nike and Adidas. But unlike its rivals, Under Armour has my man Stephen Curry (up +2 points or 3 percent at 57) touting the brand all-over the NBA courts this season.
Sure, Nike (+2 points at 93) and Adidas (up +2 points at 91) have their marque athletes, but Under Armour is relatively new to the top ranked NBA athletes and Curry is a great endorsement partnership, and leading candidate for the leagues MVP title.
The Under Armour brand is holding its trajectory without necessarily building additional media momentum. The flat media rating for the March enabled the surprising Reebok brand to displace Under Armour from the No. 2 spot in the Athletic and Outdoor Apparel sector. Reebok, up +12 points or 15 percent at 81 is still off its high of 86 in April 2012, but the solid media rating brought the brand back to its historic though contested No. 3 sector ranking. It certainly wasn’t revenue news at Reebok’s parent company Adidas that peaked media’s attention. The brand has failed to perform after Adidas acquired the brand for $3.8 billion in 2006.
Reebok is scrambling to assemble the CrossFitters, mud racers, dancers, and UFC wannabes into something resembling a market united behind its products. They’re also trying to lure the media into this storyline, but the success on that front has been mixed. 2014 was shaping up to be a media rebound year for Reebok, and the company is hoping that this month’s media rating numbers will offset the the last 3-month media decline.
I’ll be issuing an Sector Spotlight over the next few days where we’ll get the full media download on key brands and related athlete media performance metrics. But I’ll end this point on Under Armour’s social media traction metrics.
The overall media rating picture is not only solid, and moving in the right direction, but the social media and search segment breakouts are amplifying the brand’s traditional media trajectory. Ideally, a brand wants to see strong traditional media rating metrics followed by even strong social and search metrics. That’s exactly what Under Armour is posting.