Attendees to Under Armour Inc.’s Investor Day meeting on Wednesday got a sneak peek at the Baltimore sportswear maker’s future campus in South Baltimore.
Early renderings unveiled at the event depicted parts of the new campus at Port Covington — more than 50 acres of waterfront property “that will redefine Baltimore’s front porch as much as anything else,” Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said. In addition to new workspace that will consolidate Under Armour’s Baltimore employees, the new campus will also ultimately include innovation labs, sporting fields, fitness centers, manufacturing facilities, public parks and green spaces, he added.
The first 600 employees will relocate to a former Sam’s Club on the South Baltimore campus in January 2016. The 130,000-square-foot building will house Under Armour’s IT and finance department.
The new headquarters is a product of Plank’s real estate purchases in South Baltimore, which he explained will directly benefit the company and the city. He has spent more than $90 million acquiring 130-plus acres of waterfront land.
“Any dollar that I’m investing outside of Under Armour — my requirement for that investment is that it must have a tangential benefit directly back to Under Armour or to Baltimore,” he said. “I’ve made the personal investment in a piece of land in Baltimore to help us build a better house that’s going to give us room to grow at the rate we’re accustomed to and to attract talent.”
In the past three years, Under Armour (NYSE: UA) has brought 380 new people to Baltimore, Plank said. As the company grows into a world-class brand, he said its headquarters must reflect that to attract the best talent.
Brad Dickerson, the company’s CFO, said constructing the new campus will account for a major part of the increase in the company’s capital expenditures during the next three years. Typically Under Armour spends 3 percent to 5 percent of its revenue on capital expenses. Through 2018, Dickerson expects that spending to increase to between 8 percent and 10 percent of Under Armour’s revenue, with about half of that spending dedicated to the new campus, investments in technology and expanded distribution centers.
As Under Armour’s capital expenditures grow, the company is also gunning to grow its revenue to $7.5 billion in the next three years.
As much as 3 million square feet of space for Under Armour (NYSE: UA) use could be built in a first phase of the new campus construction, Plank said in an interview with the Business Journal earlier this year. A 5-acre whiskey distillery that will produce Plank’s long-planned Sagamore Spirit whiskey brand, is also set to open in late 2016.
Under Armour is currently headquartered in Tide Point, the former Procter & Gamble soap factory in Locust Point.