Under Armour, a leading global sportswear company, has been at the forefront of innovative digital product creation. As the Manager for Digital Product Creation at Under Armour, Riley Price has been instrumental in driving the company’s collaborative efforts with Browzwear. In her session at Browzwear’s Night at FIT 2023, Price explored Under Armour’s journey towards collaborating with Browzwear, its challenges, and its successful outcomes.
Building trust was one of the foundational pillars of Under Armour’s collaboration journey with Browzwear. Trust is essential in the digital world, especially when creating virtual samples that need to be trusted by everyone in the design process. Under Armour tackled this challenge by developing a comparison test for every virtual product they created. This involved taking a picture of the physical product and comparing it with the virtual iteration of their fit form and fit model. This helped build quality assurance and ensured every team member trusted what they created in 3D.
Supporting the Foundation
Another key pillar was supporting the foundation and empowering the people who wanted to work in 3D. Under Armour gave its team members the tools and training they needed to work efficiently and effectively in 3D. The company used Browzwear’s tools and Browzwear University, which offered step-by-step guides and tutorials for the entire team. Additionally, the company provided its team members with a UA preset toolbox with color palettes, avatars, and outfits that could be shared across the enterprise. These tools allowed everyone to speak the same digital language and work seamlessly together.
Under Armour took collaboration to the next level by implementing real-time collaboration. For example, the golf team was empowered to build solid blocks that could be iterated season over season. They could plug and play with their prints and graphics, collaborating with their PLM team and merchants. The team could use these blocks to showcase their vision strongly and agilely, and the merchants could collaborate with customers and determine if they were going in the right direction. The company also implemented real-time collaboration during fittings, where designers, merchants, and tech designers worked together on the same 3D file to determine the best fit, ease, and look for the product.
Fighting on Together
The final pillar was “fighting on together,” which involved asking hard questions and pushing the boundaries. Under Armour challenged its designers to question if 2D sketches were the best they could do. By showcasing the possibilities of working in 3D, they could empower their designers to create a chassis that was the perfect fit for the football player, allowed their color team to plug in different colors for different teams, and helped their graphic team badge it up. Tech designers ensured the fit was just right, and the vendors received a detailed tech pack that allowed them to get the product right the first time.
Extending Digital Products
In addition to Browzwear’s products, Under Armour also leveraged other partners, such as Trapdoor and Substance, to extend the use of 3D samples beyond just product development. By utilizing hyper-realistic 3D models, Under Armour created stunning visual presentations of its products for marketing and sales purposes. This approach allowed designers and product developers to showcase various color and style options efficiently and cost-effectively. With these tools, Under Armour was able to bring its products to life in a digital environment, streamlining the design and development process while also creating a compelling and immersive experience for its customers. By embracing a collaborative approach that leverages the latest technology, Under Armour has positioned itself as a leader in the rapidly evolving world of digital product creation.
Under Armour’s collaboration with Browzwear has been transformational. Under Armor has revolutionized digital product creation by building trust, supporting the foundation, implementing real-time collaboration, and challenging its designers. The collaboration has allowed the company to create products faster, more efficiently, and with less waste. By pushing the status quo into the future, Under Armour has set the bar for other companies to follow in their footsteps.
Session Take Away:
- Under Armour has transformed its product development process through collaboration and digital product creation.
- Browzwear enabled Under Armour to speak the same language across teams and build trust in digital product creation.
- Under Armour’s collaboration journey has four pillars: building trust, supporting the foundation, collaborating in real-time, and fighting on together.
- By leveraging digital product creation and collaboration, Under Armour has created and iterated on product designs more efficiently, reducing time to market and increasing sustainability.
- Under Armour’s success in digital product creation has been extended to marketing through partnerships with other vendors such as Trapdoor and Adobe’s Substance.