Defensive Strategy for Innovators

  • Tim Calkins


IN 2008 ATHLETIC APPAREL COMPANY Under Armour entered the mainstream athletic shoes category, launching a line of cross training sneakers. CEO Kevin Plank was supremely confident about the new products and had invested a large part of the company’s marketing budget in a launch plan that included a $4.4 million Super Bowl commercial. He told a reporter from The New York Times, “Under Armour controls its own destiny. We believe there are better fabrics, better technology, and better innovations … people are going to try us.”1


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  1. 4.
    Kevin P. Coyne and John Horn, “Predicting Your Competitor’s Reaction,” Harvard Business Review, Volume 87, Number 4, April 2009, 92.Google Scholar
  2. 11.
    Stephen Denny, Killing Giants (New York: Portfolio/Penguin, 2011), 49.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    A. G. Lafley interview by Karen Dillon, “I Think of My Failures as a Gift,” Harvard Business Review, Volume 89, Number 4, April 2011, 87.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tim Calkins 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Calkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Kellogg School of ManagementUSA

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