Under Armour CEO Runs a Full-Page Ad in The Baltimore Sun Addressing Pro-Trump Comments

Kevin Plank clarifies the brand's stance on diversity and inclusion

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said the company "engages in innovation and sports, not politics" in a statement. - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Katie Richards

Today Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank purchased a full-page ad in The Baltimore Sun to address comments he made last week on CNBC. In the interview, when asked about President Donald Trump, Plank called him a “real asset” for American businesses.

The comments caused a number of the brand’s star endorses, including Misty Copeland and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, to publicly denounce Plank’s seemingly pro-Trump stance.

The open letter, addressed to the city of Baltimore, attempts to clarify the CEO’s comments which Plank writes “did not accurately reflect my intent.” He doesn’t ever mention President Trump by name or really reference his comments on CNBC but instead lays out a number of the brand’s core values and looks back at some of the things the company has done to serve the city of Baltimore.

“We stand firmly for equal rights. Through our investment, hiring and in everything we do, we expect to be leaders in the advancement of all forms of diversity and gender,” Plank writes.

Plank also addresses President Trump’s travel ban in his letter, something that the brand spoke out against one day after Copeland and Johnson wrote lengthy posts on their Instagram pages to ensure fans that their views on Trump did not align with Plank’s. “We are against a travel ban and believe that immigration is a source of strength, diversity and innovation for global companies based in America like Under Armour,” the brand said in its statement regarding the ban. 

In his note, Plank echoes that sentiment stating “We are publicly opposing the travel ban,” and says the company plans to join a “coalition of companies in opposition to any new actions that negatively impact our team, their families and our community.”

Finally, Plank looks back at some of the things the brand has done to help the city of Baltimore “by doubling down on our company’s presence and our investment in this city, and by making unprecedented commitments to education, workforce, development and local hiring.”

You can read the full letter below, and click to enlarge.

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.
Publish date: February 15, 2017 https://dev.adweek.com/brand-marketing/under-armour-ceo-runs-a-full-page-ad-in-the-baltimore-sun-addressing-pro-trump-comments/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT