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Research and Innovation

Under Armour Founder, CEO Visit NC State

Chancellor Woodson of NC State poses with the Under Armour founder and the Under Armour CEO.

Under Armour Founder, Executive Chairman and Brand Chief Kevin Plank; President and CEO Stephanie Linnartz; and other senior executives recently visited NC State to meet with Chancellor Woodson and key university collaborators. Building on the strategic partnership announced late last year, they explored new high-impact collaboration opportunities for the future.

During a tour at Under Armour’s innovation center on Centennial Campus, researchers from the Nonwovens Institute highlighted shared equipment on campus and joint research underway. Transitioning to the Wilson College of Textiles, the partners discussed current projects and ways to uncover new discoveries. Next, at the College of Design, Under Armour spoke with NC State researchers who are developing industry-sponsored prototypes. They also toured design studios and makerspaces for a deeper dive into student projects.

“NC State and Under Armour share a commitment to innovation, sustainability and providing unique opportunities for student development,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. “We look forward to the partnership’s continued growth in support of these goals.”

Under Armour President and CEO Stephanie Linnartz added, “Partnering to advance industry-leading innovation is a key win for both Under Armour and NC State. As a brand dedicated to serving athletes, Under Armour is proud to work with NC State to identify opportunities to improve athletic performance apparel and footwear, with the mission to make athletes better.”

In December 2022, NC State and Under Armour cosigned a five-year master research agreement to accelerate bringing new discoveries to market. Under Armour also opened its innovation center on Centennial Campus, which hosts high-end equipment for conducting joint research with NC State’s Nonwovens Institute.

Inside Under Armour’s innovation center on Centennial Campus. From left: Under Armour Founder, Executive Chairman and Brand Chief Kevin Plank; NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson; NC State Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, Partnerships and Economic Development Kevin Howell; and Under Armour President and CEO Stephanie Linnartz.
From left: Stephanie Linnartz; Kevin Plank; Principal of Materials and Manufacturing Innovation William Barnes; Senior Vice President of Innovation Kyle Blakely; and Interim Chief Product Officer Daniel Leraris.
Under Armour’s Stephanie Linnartz shares a moment with Wilson College of Textiles Dean David Hinks.
Leadership from Under Armour and NC State discuss expanded partnership opportunities.

To date, collaborations with faculty and students across the Wilson College of Textiles, Nonwovens Institute and College of Design are focused on innovating fabric design and apparel sustainability. Under Armour is working with the Nonwovens Institute to commercialize research and sponsoring senior design projects in the Wilson College of Textiles, as well as conducting testing in order to improve fabric performance and endurance. The company is investing more than $1 million in NC State research, with plans to expand that commitment annually.

Building on this foundation, Under Armour and NC State intend to grow collaborations across other disciplines. Examples include automation and artificial intelligence, advanced polymers, sustainability, human performance and 3D design.

Researchers interested in exploring partnership opportunities in these areas may contact the Office of Partnerships at

This post was originally published in NC State News.