Under Armour founder Kevin Plank responds to an explosive report alleging the company dumped goods at TJ Maxx to sweeten sales numbers

kevin plankUnder Armour CEO Kevin PlankJustin Solomon/Getty Images

  • In an email sent to employees on Friday and obtained by Business Insider, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank responded to an explosive report from The Wall Street Journal that alleged that the athletics giant had "pushed early shipments" and "dumped goods" at off-price chains to boost sales growth.
  • "Given recent events that have entered the realm of public opinion without full context, it is disappointing to have our integrity and reputation called into question," Plank wrote in the email.
  • Under Armour is being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice.
  • Sources previously told The Journal that federal authorities were looking into whether the sportswear brand "shifted sales from quarter to quarter to appear healthier."
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In an email sent to employees on Friday and obtained by Business Insider, Kevin Plank responded to an explosive report from The Wall Street Journal alleging that the athletics giant had "pushed early shipments" and "dumped goods" at off-price stores such as TJ Maxx to keep up its run of strong sales growth.

"Given recent events that have entered the realm of public opinion without full context, it is disappointing to have our integrity and reputation called into question," Plank wrote in the email. "Amid a paradox of being constrained by an ongoing, two and a half year investigation and wanting to address media allegations raised by anonymous sources - our integrity is unshaken. We've certainly never claimed to be perfect, but our team has earned and deserves more respect than this reporting currently affords us."

Under Armour is currently being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice over its accounting practices.

A representative for the company declined to comment further on Plank's email, but told Business Insider earlier on Friday: "We are aware of recent media coverage concerning Under Armour's business practices. As we have stated previously, we firmly believe that our disclosures and our accounting practices have been entirely appropriate. Our management and board of directors have reviewed this matter extensively over the past two and a half years and stand by the Company's financial reporting. Because the investigation is ongoing, we are constrained in our response and cannot address every allegation raised in the media or by anonymous sources cited in the news."

Sources previously told The Wall Street Journal that federal authorities were looking into whether the sportswear brand "shifted sales from quarter to quarter to appear healthier."

Read Plank's full note below:

Dear Teammates,

Next week, we'll enter our 15th year as a publicly traded company - a period marked with incredible effort, heart and passion from thousands of teammates that have worked tirelessly to create one of the world's largest athletic performance brands. Since the beginning, we've operated with two core tenets: integrity and improvement. Both are vital for sustainable growth, positive reputation and longevity. Under Armour would not exist without these qualities

As a brand centered on making athletes better, sportsmanship is inherent in everything we do. Win or lose, we play with honor, fairness and respect for the game. Our team works and drives hard toward any goal we set out to accomplish. We are playing the long game, building an eternal brand.

Given recent events that have entered the realm of public opinion without full context, it is disappointing to have our integrity and reputation called into question. Amid a paradox of being constrained by an ongoing, two and a half year investigation and wanting to address media allegations raised by anonymous sources - our integrity is unshaken. We've certainly never claimed to be perfect, but our team has earned and deserves more respect than this reporting currently affords us.

With respect to inquiries into Under Armour's business practices by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice, we firmly believe that our disclosures and our accounting practices have been entirely appropriate. We respect the government's process and will continue to cooperate with thoughtful and proper resolve.

Most importantly, I want to thank this team for all that you do - each and every day. Let's all lock arms on our continuing march to building the best sports performance brand on the planet.

Kevin Plank

Under Armour, Inc.

Chairman & CEO

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