#TechFail – 4 Ways Under Armour Can Repair Its Brand. Olympic Tech Brings Small Business Lessons

Sometimes technology helps us and sometimes we suspect it messes things up. In this case there’s suspicion that Under Armour’s speed skating uniforms are messing things up.

Most of you know by now that Under Armour is under a spotlight , because its special speed skating suites might have cause the US Olympic speed skating team to not win any medals and skate sub-par during the Olympics. The suite allegedly slowed them down.

However, the Olympic team is now using the old suites and still not doing any better.

If you were Under Armour what would you do?

Here’s four things I would do.

1) Establish a very credible and independent investigator to see what impact the new suites did, or did not have on the skaters. Part of this investigation should be to test the new suites out in the same conditions, but using other skaters, as the Olympic skater are in and measure what difference, if any, the suites might cause for a skater.

2) Crowdsource – Get the public involved to offer scientific ideas to what could be a problem with the Under Armour suites

3) Create a public test so that the public can test out and try for themselves the Under Armour suites and see how good they probably are for regular folks.

4) Create an advertising campaign, similar to what BP did after the oil spil and convey your encouragement of the US Speed Skating team and etc…evoke positive thoughts focused on the USA, athletes, etc

These are just four ideas, what do you think?

Keep in mind, since the skaters are not doing any better we do not yet know IF it’s the Under Armour suites causing the problem.

What we do know is that the Under Armour brand is tarnished – deservedly or not.

Has this every happened to you? You upgrade technology in your office, only to find that things seem to be working worse than before the new technology was  installed?

Here’s some ways to mitigate tech failures.

1. Test technology before rolling it out in production

2. Be prepared to roll back the upgrade

3. Ensure your tech specialist understands your business

4. Carefully consider if you need the tech upgrade

5. Measure and test very carefully.

3 thoughts on “#TechFail – 4 Ways Under Armour Can Repair Its Brand. Olympic Tech Brings Small Business Lessons

  1. MiddleMajority

    Ramon, good article. However, I think Under Amour’s brand would benefit the most if skaters start using the suits and winning consistently. There’s likely nothing wrong with the suits, they work. I’m sure Under Armour did their homework.

    The problem was the Sochi athletes weren’t used to wearing them and didn’t have confidence in them. Under Armour needs to focus more on working with a few top athletes going forward to establish a track record of success at the regional/national level, World Championships, etc. Only then can they refocus the media and skater community on the potential of the suits rather than the failures of the athletes at these games.

    Most consumers likely are smart enough to know the truth of the sitch. Just need some future proof points! They also need to do a much better job preparing athletes to use new tech at the next Olympics.

      • MiddleMajority

        No problem. Appreciate your great work on this. Good stuff!

        btw I am assuming the suits actually “work”, I guess its another problem entirely if the suits really aren’t very good and the Sochi athletes identified a real problem. Oops!


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