Research has shown a huge leap in the popularity of Under Armour among female consumers

Research has shown a huge leap in the popularity of Under Armour among female consumers

The latest findings from an ongoing survey into the popularity of US athletic footwear and apparel brands suggest there has been a huge leap for Under Armour among female consumers.

The Athletic Brand Survey from Cowen Research questions US consumers on their first choice when it comes to athletic brand preference and "cool factor."

The latest year-on-year survey data through August shows "Under Armour gained tremendous ground on both dimensions among women," the researchers say, although they point out that this is not achieved at Nike's expense.

Indeed, Nike continues to dominate on brand preference, although for both companies this has increased year-on-year in each month.

However, "the real standout in the results was the gains UA showed among women," the report says, noting brand preference surged to 19% from 9% a year ago. "We think UA's recent brand campaign focused solely on its women's line," along with a US$15m advertising campaign aimed at women featuring the likes of ballerina Misty Copeland, "is resonating strongly among female consumers 18-34."

Perception of the Under Armour brand though its "cool factor" rating also "soared throughout the summer."

Among young men, UA was also able to stem five sequential months of "cool factor" declines year-on-year with moderate increases in July and August, with a likely catalyst being ongoing product innovation.

Significantly, brand preference gains for Nike and Under Armour seem to coming at the expense of Adidas, Reebok and others - a trend that appears to be confirmed in separate research that suggests Under Armour has overtaken Adidas this year in combined apparel and footwear sales to become the second biggest sports brand in the US.

Data from Sterne Agee and SportScanInfo says Adidas has dropped to the number three spot for the first time, trailing Under Armour at number two and Nike at number one.