ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 6, 2010) - Governor Martin O’Malley today continued his “Jobs Across Maryland” tour by joining Under Armour Founder and CEO, Kevin Plank and other company officials for a tour of the sportswear giant’s new space at its Tide Point headquarters. The 140,000 square-foot Cheer building, which houses the Humble and Hungry employee café, a basketball court and showrooms for the company’s latest apparel, footwear and accessories collections, opened earlier this year and is the latest addition to Under Armour’s complex in South Baltimore. The company employs over 800 at its Tide Point headquarters, and over 1,500 total in Maryland, including two distribution centers in Anne Arundel County.
“Under Armour is a true Maryland home-grown success story. Starting with a handful of employees in 1996, the company has grown into a global sportswear giant, with more than 3,000 employees in offices and retail operations around the globe,” said Governor O’Malley. “Companies like Under Armour that are continuing to grow and create jobs here are contributing to our State’s economic stability and are a key reason why we are coming out of this recession faster and stronger.”
“We are proud of the business we are building in Maryland and we are honored to have Governor O’Malley visit our Baltimore headquarters,” said Kevin Plank.
Under Armour is continuing to grow and create jobs and the Company expects 2010 annual net revenues in the range of $965 million to $985 million, an increase of 13% to 15% over 2009, based on strong sales in men’s, women’s and youth apparel. In celebration of July 4th, the company last week launched UA FREEDOM, an initiative to support and honor U.S. military and public safety officials who risk their lives to “Protect this House, ” Under Armour’s slogan. The initiative includes a dedicated website through which users can purchase specially-designed Wounded Warrior Project apparel, gift a wounded service member with an Under Armour Wounded Warrior Project backpack, volunteer for events, or share stories of personal triumph.
In the past year, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has implemented an aggressive agenda of new and expanded programs to create jobs, retain jobs and improve the conditions that allow businesses large and small to create and save jobs, including:
· Pioneering the Jobs Creation and Recovery Tax Credit;
· Expanding the Small Business Loan Guaranty program to increase access to credit; and
· Creating InvestMaryland, an administrative and legislative proposal designed to support the growth of the state’s knowledge based industries by stimulating investment in the Maryland Venture Fund.
Under Armour has taken advantage of several of the State’s workforce incentives, including the One Maryland Tax Credit, which offers up to $5 million in project tax credits and up to $500,000 in start-up tax credits to businesses that invest in an economic development project in a qualified distressed county. Designed to stimulate job creation in priority funding areas, the One Maryland Tax Credit requires businesses to create at least 25 new full-time positions at the project within 24 months and retain those positions for 12 months. Priority funding areas include Baltimore City or Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Garrett, Somerset or Worcester counties. Under Armour has also taken advantage of over $575,000 in workforce training incentives that the State offers. The company plans to take advantage of the Jobs Creation and Recovery Tax Credit as it continues to expand.
Maryland remains one of only eight states to retain a Triple A bond rating, certified by all three rating agencies. With an unemployment rate more than 20 percent below the national average, Maryland created more than 38,000 jobs from February to May. Over the same period, every job growth sector experienced gains, particularly in those areas of the economy that have struggled during the recession. In May, construction added 1,700 jobs, leisure and hospitality gained more than 4,300 jobs, and financial services added 800 jobs.