Small Business Administration Inducts Kevin Plank into its ‘Hall of Champions’

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Courtesy Maria Contreras-Sweet/Twitter
Courtesy Maria Contreras-Sweet/Twitter

Under Armour is by no means a small business today, but 19 years ago, it was a seedling of its current form with $17,000 in annual sales. This morning, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) honored Kevin Plank for transforming the company into a global brand over the last two decades.

According to the SBA, it was one of their small business loans that helped Plank keep his company going at the start. Under Armour’s growth since then has earned him the agency’s first Hall of Champions Award.

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet presented him with the award Wednesday on his home turf at the company’s Locust Point headquarters. Before the ceremony, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined Plank and Contreras-Sweet for a conversation on stage about entrepreneurship, Under Armour’s global brand and value of the agency to businesses.

Plank started the company as a student at the University of Maryland, where he played football. Under his leadership, his firm is fast becoming a premier name in sportswear, with sponsored athletes like Stephen Curry and numbers to prove it.

According to figures posted on Under Armour’s website, the company’s revenue climbed 23 percent on average during each of the last three years, rising from $1.8 billion in 2012 to almost $4 billion in 2015.

With a city-financed development deal for Port Covington now signed into law and a planned new headquarters there in the works, Plank has much to look forward to. Looking back, one can imagine he’s thankful the SBA was there when he started out.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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