Under Armour, the US sportswear and casual clothing brand, views Asia as a key growth market and has adopted a “consumer-centric” approach to win over more shoppers as it seeks to ramp up the challenge to its larger rivals, adidas and Nike.

The company’s recently announced Q4 2018 results underscored the importance of Asia-Pacific to its future prospects, considering revenue from the region jumped 35% at the same time that North America revenue decreased 6% to $965m.

According to Forbes, which last week published an analysis of Under Armour’s tactics in Asia-Pacific, the company is aiming to catch up with adidas and Nike by meeting consumer demand for personalisation and innovation.

Under Armour currently has around 700 owned or partner-run retail outlets in Asia and has plans to expand its estate to about 1,900 locations by 2023 – and these are likely to include a number of smart stores, similar to one of its flagship stores in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

There, Forbes reported that signs at the entrance encourage shoppers to download a digital fitness app, called MayMyRun, in return for discounts on Under Armour’s new Hovr running shoes.

The app also helps Under Armour to improve its understanding of consumer behaviour, enabling it to personalise its marketing of an assortment of products.

And once inside the store, consumers are offered “sportstyle”, Under Armour’s answer to the fashion-focused athleisure trend, which the company has been slower to embrace than its rivals until recently.

Celebrity endorsers are another important element of the company’s “consumer-centric” strategy – and its flagship Taipei store includes pictures of NBA star Stephen Curry, golfer Jordan Spieth and actor Dwayne Johnson alongside animated 3D images of Curry and other celebrities.

“We are generally just getting started in the [Asia-Pacific] region,” said Jason Archer, managing director for Under Armour APAC.

“Even with over 1,300 distribution points across APAC, we’re still a relatively new market entrant in most channels,” he added. “We’re really excited about the runway ahead in Asia-Pacific.”

Sourced from Under Armour, Forbes; additional content by WARC staff