Under Armour Star Wars | Big Mistake. Huge.

Dear Under Armour,

Congrats!  You did it again.

And that’s not a good thing.

News traveled quickly this week that your line of Under Armour Star Wars tech gear was available.  I went to the site myself, hoping to find some new gear for the two Star Wars themed races I have pending on my calendar.

And then this happened.

UA

Are you kidding me, Under Armour?

First you broke my heart with the poor options for women and girls in you Alter Ego line.  A  grand total of ONE Superman shirt for women and four items for girls.

Oh- and three of them were pinked up to make it more girlie.

Look, I’m not opposed to a little pink and frivolity, but would it kill you to market to women and girls without assuming they want to be frilly?

obi wan 1

And now, this?

I was hopeful when I heard that Star Wars was featured through Under Armour.  I love UA; I love Star Wars.  This was going to be a beautiful moment between me, you, and my (Star Wars) Visa card.

Alas, no.

In case your marketing department is lost in the 1970s (which it appears they might be), women and moms comprise the heft of purchase power in 2015.

58% of all online purchases are made by, you guessed it, women.

Big mistake

As far as Under Armour and your products specifically?

I know I’ve bought my fair share.  The products are quality, the women’s lines fit beautifully, and they are affordable.

However.

Let me help you out with some research.  Did you know that women made up the majority of runners at the 2015 Star Wars Half Marathon and 10K events?

SW 10K women SW half women

In case you are sitting there saying, “Annndd…?”  I’ll cut to the chase.

This means we need tech gear to run in. And probably would have bought some Star Wars themed items from UA if, you know, they fit us.

Can women wear men’s lines?  Sure.

Do we love looking like boxes?  Nope.

Mens shirts

We love running, working out, superheroes and science fiction and supporting our daughters in those interests as well.

My own daughter’s favorite character for the past two years is Iron Man.  And her options to show her love for the big guy are very limited.   Give her an Iron Man shirt to run in?  I promise you she would run away from Girl Meets World and take a mile in a shirt like that. Sometimes, the clothes are the motivation when we are talking to a 10-year-old mind.

And maybe a 41-year-old mind as well.

It looks like I’m not alone in my complaints.  Taking a peek at your Facebook page, there’re plenty of folks decrying your lack of gender equality when it comes to sportswear.

FB UA 1

UA FB 2

And it’s clearly NOT just a Star Wars or Alter Ego issue.  It seems UA doesn’t offer girls lines in other styles as well.

Sigggghhhhh… why, Under Armour, whhhhyyy???

If you need a hint on how to sell to women in the geek/nerd market: here you go.

Check out Her Universe. Ashley Eckstein is one businesswoman who understands what we want, what we need, and what makes us feel special. She markets to all ages, all sizes, and you’ll be hard pressed to find pink splashed randomly in her clothing line.

her universe FB page

Under Armour, I’d like a response.  As a returning customer to your brand, I think I’m owed one.

And for goodness sake… I’d love a damn shirt that fits my boobs and waist but allows me to show my geekiness while working out.

Update: from Twitter this morning.

Looks like we are being heard, ladies!  @AskTeamUA confirmed an expanded Alter Ego line as well as Star Wars line to come.  No word on the timeframe, but let’s hope we can order before January!   I appreciate the quick response to my concerns.  That’s how you earn back some credibility, Under Armour.  Thank you.

How do you feel about the issue?  Do you think women have a legitimate complaint here?

Comments

  • Kirsten says:

    Great job Patty! You summed it up perfectly! This is big issue IMO. Its 2015 for goodness sakes! Why are women athletes still being ignored and forced to wear mens clothing? Hey guess what? Marketing Fail!

  • Diane says:

    I think women do have a legitimate complaint.
    I am a Sandtrooper with the 501st.
    My comment on UA’s page was originally posted 14 hours ago and it was deleted or hidden from view, because it still shows up in my activity, yet it does not show up in the comment feed.
    My repost does show up and you have it in your screen grab.

    My comment was pointing out that there are many female members of the 501st, which is a Star Wars costuming group for those who don’t know. I think being a member of the 501st could probably be the top tier of being a Star Wars fan.

    The number of female members is a little over 20% of 7500 members.
    For most of us who wear the Stormtrooper or Sandtrooper armor, Under Armour is the go to for what we wear under our armor. Some of us have two sets or UA. One for summer and one for winter.
    That comes out probably to 3000 sets of UA.

    TFA has a female villain as a main character. Captain Phasma. I do not understand how this fact is going ignored, when this is the one thing that has many excited. She is a progressive female character, whose role is not the typical damsel in distress.

    I did read that there was a statement from Under Armor
    “Through our Alter Ego program, we continue to introduce key collections around iconic movies, music artists and superheroes. As part of our Star Wars collection, we will continue to introduce new styles across men’s, women’s and kids in the coming weeks.”

    I’ll believe it when I see it, because “we” are still waiting on the rest of the Black Widow Alter Ego line.

    Thanks for the post and the screengrab. Maybe this time around UA wont delete my comment.

    • patty says:

      Oh yes- Alter Ego has been out for over a year. Yet… no Black Widow. No women’s Marvel at all. I’m hopeful that the complaints are finally getting through to them, but will also have to see exactly how fast they move on this. BTW- congrats on your 501st status! That’s awesome on its own. Keep Troopin’!

      • Diane says:

        Update – “Hey look! We made some t-shirts for you girls.”
        I looked over there today to see what was available.
        Strikes me as odd that these are the same designs that were offered for men’s rollout on day one.
        they are the same designs. Why were they not available then?

  • Meg B says:

    I get that UA is saying they have more lines coming but does that really make up for the fact they released absolutely ZERO Star Wars clothing for women in the first release? It seems like they are saying “Oh no, we didn’t forget women, just wait”. Yet I feel it’s more, “Oh hey, yeah we have women stuff but what’s the rush?”. Either way, bad move, UA.

    • patty says:

      Agreed. I want to know why women were not included in the first line they released? This is STAR WARS for goodness sake. People are clamouring to buy; all genders and generations are being pulled in by this franchise.

  • Rachel says:

    Preach it, sister! I’m not a huge Star Wars fan myself, but I was mighty disappointed with all the pink superhero stuff. I hate pink!

  • Suzanne says:

    I was really disappointed about no Star Wars. The alter ego as well. I’m fairly loyal to Marvel and no offense to DC but it’s not what I’m looking for let alone pinked out.
    I have been wearing my @heruniverse Marvel and Star Wars tanks on my runs for the past year. They may not be tech material but she has the styles and options I want. I’ve been hoping she would branch out to include a tech line.
    I’m glad UA commented and are coming out with something good soon.

    • patty says:

      I hope it’s soon- I really do. But we’ve been waiting for Alter Ego to expand for a year now. Gah! And you know I love me some Her Universe too! If someone will make an Agents of SHIELD shirt and capris, I would JUST DIE A HAPPY NERD.

  • Great summary, Patty! I’ll tell you, this has so many up in arms, women and men alike! Despite multiple attempts to reach Under Armour via social media and email, there have been a flood of women and men who have made comments and expressed concerns on the Under Armour Facebook page and Twitter, myself included, to which the only response Under Armour has had is removing all of the comments, none of which were negative or distasteful in any way. (From someone who has a background in Marketing, this social media suicide tactic is distasteful and in all honesty worse than their initial mistake of making women feel excluded.) Not only are women upset about the clothing line and their questions being unanswered, but now being erased and rendered invalid and unworthy of a response or even existence on their web page.

    Upon discovering what I had hoped was an error on their website immediately following the launch of the clothing line, I reached out to them, and then created the petition on Change.org to encourage communication with UA in hopes to get somewhere further than unanswered emails and deleted messages from social media.

    We obviously want to know if there is a future line in the making for women and girls, and when we can expect it.
    The next movie in the series is to be released December 18th in theatres, so why the lack of preparation? One would think after the last Alter Ego SuperHero™ mishap with the women’s line that they would have taken that critical feedback seriously. Having this clothing line in time for the movie launch would be ideal, that’s for certain.
    Another question that I presented to the UA team is why there hasn’t been a female athlete featured on their Athlete Empowerment section on Facebook in over 2 months. At this point, I really feel it’s a gender biased issue, and I’m willing to discuss this with someone at their company if given the opportunity, as stated in an email I penned to a few of their marketing and communications personnel.

    In your article you state the possibility of a future Imperial Gear clothing line for women. The previous collection which excluded women and girls, Under Armour® Alter Ego SuperHero™ took an extensive period of time to plan and release after the initial launch of the men’s clothing line, which ended in another huge disappointment as the women’s line was a small selection of items which were not appealing to women at all. My main goal is to restore balance in the galaxy again and to bring back empowerment of women.

    Thank you for highlighting this story! I really enjoyed your piece!

    May The Force always be with you and yours,

    Amanda Doppler

    Please don’t forget to sign my petition!

    https://www.change.org/p/under-armour-we-find-your-lack-of-women-girls-star-warstm-merch-disturbing-petition-to-add-star-warstm-alter-ego-imperial-women-s-girl-s-line?recruiter=17361035&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

  • Kim says:

    Sadly, I have little faith in UA’s ability to deliver. They have been promising an expended line of Women’s Alter Ego since 2014. I would love some awesome race gear, but I’m stuck trying to fit into boys shirt.

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Patty Holliday


If she isn’t chasing her four kids around Northern Virginia, Patty is chasing four bars on her phone to share her authentic and fun stories on social media and her blog, My No-Guilt Life. She’s also one half of the Marvel Moms, an online community for discussing the Marvel fandom. You can catch up on her runDisney fun at No-Guilt Disney.

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