US Speedskaters Armour Up for the 2018 Olympics

US Speedskaters Armour Up for the 2018 Olympics

Under Armour, a Baltimore-based performance apparel company, has gone to great lengths to reinvent the 2018 suits for skaters.

Their 2014 suits were too tight, too heavy, and had an annoying air vent that earned blame from many skaters for their failure to earn medals in the 2014 Olympics.

After four years of redesign and testing involving the athletes from day one, the new suits are now custom-made to perfectly fit each skater’s body in order to cut minute fractions of a second off the athletes’ speed.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, U.S. speedskaters work with Under Armour to redesign suits for 2018 Olympics, by Rick Maese, February 8, 2018.  Image source: David Madison/Getty Images

Discussion Questions
1. Why did Under Armour redesign its product?

Guidance: The 2014 suit designs didn’t stand up to Under Armour’s performance apparel promise, because the materials were too tight and heavy.  The poorly-suited design included an air vent the speedskaters called ‘annoying’.

2. What issues does Under Armour face that are of high priorities for today’s business operations?

Guidance: Discussion topics might include the challenges of innovating, overcoming quality problems, and competing in a global economy.