Competition in the market for athletic footwear ratchets up, it seems, almost daily.
And with the official opening of Under Armour's new office last week, the three biggest companies in the industry are all now firmly instantiated in Portland.
Analysts say that to keep up, Under Armour must improve its footwear game, which is the chief focus of the new office. And while many, including NPD's Matt Powell, argue that sportswear (or "athleisure") styles are where success will lie, the new office reflects an investment in the company's performance roots.
The new office features training and biomechanics lab spaces, including 240 frame-per-second high-speed cameras and weightlifting machinery imported from Milan, where Under Armour's footwear specialists can observe professional athletes' movement and test new technology. The design and innovation teams are just around the corner to turn their findings into product updates.
Also in the works is a room where footwear developers can do prototyping, making it possible for the company to develop, test and get products to market more quickly, according to Vice President of Athletic Performance Paul Winsper.
Peter Ruppe, Under Armour's head of footwear, adds the company wants to ensure consumers understand how to use high-performance products through digital technology, a recent growth area for the company.
Click on the picture above to check out what company leaders hope will be a game-changing new facility for Under Armour.
The Portland Business Journal is a KGW News partner.
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