Score one for Under Armour in BCS title game

Under Armour defeated Nike in the BCS title game Monday night. That's one storyline playing out since Auburn University vanquished the University of Oregon, 22-19, for the NCAA college football championship. To locals, the backstory is pretty well known, but many sports fans nationally may not have been aware of Baltimore-based Under Armour's rivalry with athletic shoe and apparel giant Nike. I started covering Under Armour a bit in 2005, right around the time the company was thinking of going public (they executed a well-received IPO that November, raising about $120 million). No one at Under Armour at that time would speak on the record of any rivalry with the Swoosh — because the company was on an SEC-mandated quiet period, and by that point many of Under Armour's top executives, including CEO Kevin Plank, were no longer making themselves very accessible to the local business media. But, in conversations at the time with industry analysts and market watchers, it seemed to be all anyone could talk about. I remember one local attorney, over lunch in Fells Point, remarking that, IPO or no, he expected one day soon to see "the Nike Death Star" hovering over Under Armour's Tide Point campus, ready to buy the upstart.

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