Is there a chink in the armor of Under Armour ($UA)? The sports apparel company had a worse than expected earnings call this morning and CEO and President Patrik Frisk spoke at the earnings report about the state of the company in these unprecedented times:
"As extraordinary human and economic disruptions related to COVID-19 continue to unfold globally, we are prioritizing the health and welfare of our teammates and consumers. By instituting disciplined workplace continuity protocols and adhering to the recommendations of local health authorities, we remain vigilant in monitoring this evolving situation and responsibly playing our part. As we continue to navigate this crisis, our balance sheet remains well managed, and our leadership team is taking decisive actions to execute against our continued transformation."
It's now normal to see companies lose employees within our LinkedIn data, and very commonplace to slash job listings. What's still abnormal is to see a brand's social media following go down, which is a troubling sign for longterm consumer interest and brand building.
In almost six months, 100,000+ people unfollowed Under Armour on Instagram aka the most important place to attract young people to become fans/customers. If this downwards trend continues into the summer, it's safe to assume the pandemic is just having a weird effect on sales or what people are interested in right now. If it continues throughout the year, then it's something else entirely: fewer people care about Under Armour.
The same problem is happening on Twitter, 4,000+ people unfollowed the UA account in the last three months. It's not a large enough number to panic, but combined with the 100K on Instagram, it's not a fluke statistic and cannot be written off. Social media numbers don't typically decline, they either grow or stay flat, or go down for a really good reason.
The other standard impact that COVID-19 has on the economy/businesses everywhere is that no one wants to hire. Job postings are down 94% on the Under Armour careers page since February.
And to cap this all off, here is a map of all the UA stores you can't go to because they're temporarily shut down. Find the one closest to you and openly weep at the state of retail.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.