Kevin Plank is a successful businessman with strong opinions. The data, though, suggests he places ideology above facts.
If you’re a huge sports merchandise brand, you never want your marquee superstar endorser going after you in the press. But that’s what happened this week when Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank told CNBC that “[t]o have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country.”
The aforementioned marquee superstar, 2014-15 NBA champion and reigning MVP Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, took a shot:
“I agree with that description, if you remove the ‘et.'”
The two have now apparently gotten on the same page after some top-speed backpedaling by Plank, who has taken great pains to clarify that he only meant his praise in a strictly business sense. It’s fun when CEOs get hauled out to the woodshed.
The problem is that even the business-specific comment illustrates what a fact-resistant barking fucktrumpet Plank is. History shows pretty conclusively that business does better under Democratic administrations. Donald himself said so in 2004:
“I’ve been around for a long time and it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.”
You’d think a big-time CEO could read a chart, but apparently Plank can’t. For instance, how about this one, which shows Under Armour’s stock performance from the time Barack Obama was inaugurated up until Q4 of 2015.
That’s a climb from around $5 to roughly $100 per share.
Of course, then this happened:
I did some snooping and it looks like growth was slowing down, which scared investors, and a recent Quartz analysis suggested that the company needs to understand how much its success hinges on design and style – something it has heretofore not understood.
I then turned to my colleague Otherwise, who knows a great deal more than I do about business. His initial reaction: “my guess would be the stock was overvalued in the first place. Trendy stock, bunch of amateurs in Peoria buy it, like Amazon and Google bubbles.” After a little more study, he came back with this: “Quick read, the assholes put in place an ownership structure which effectively changed their governance so that our boy Kevin can do whatever in the fuck he wants. Pro investors really, really don’t like that.”
Otherwise hasn’t studied the case in depth and this isn’t my area of expertise at all, so who knows. Doesn’t really matter, anyway. The important part is that first chart, which shows UA, dramatically overburdened by a socialist president who just hates business, quintupling their stock price.
After that? Well, here’s the Dow Jones performance vs. Under Armour over the same period. The Dow is the blue line and UAA is the green.
Let’s look at one more chart. This the Down (blue) and Under Armour (green) since Donald’s inauguration.
I know this is an awfully small sample and I don’t want to draw any conclusions on limited data, but, you know, just saying. The evidence we have suggests that absolutely, Plank could benefit from a business-friendly president.
Maybe the better question, though, is whether Under Armour could benefit from a better CEO.