Under Armour Unveils New Icon Brand House in Sandton City

Apollo Brands (Pty) Ltd, the official distributor of Under Armour in South Africa, proudly announces the launch of its newest Icon Brand House in Johannesburg’s key location, Sandton City. This launch is a significant milestone in Under Armour’s growth strategy in South Africa, underscoring its commitment to providing unparalleled experiences and innovative products for athletes both on and off the field. The Icon Brand House, opened with a literal SMASH, showcases Under Armour’s BCC EVO (Brand House City
Concept Evolution) concept. With the largest floor space for the brand in South Africa, it spans over 344
square meters. Featuring advanced digital displays through LED screen technology, the store highlights key touchpoints that emphasise Under Armour’s signature ethos of innovation and performance.

The meticulously designed Sandton City store features soft architectural curves that create an inviting
atmosphere, encouraging consumers to explore and discover the latest in athletic wear and gear.Local illustration artist Sinenhlanhla Chauke enhanced the authenticity of the Icon Brand House by creating
three hand-drawn illustrations that add a touch of local flavour to the beautiful interior and showcases
South Africa’s rich culture and heritage through sport.

Brent Collinicos, General Manager at Apollo Brands says, “We’re not just expanding our distribution; we’re
also raising the bar and continually re-investing in existing locations. I’m incredibly proud of the team for
bringing this vision to life. This renowned retail location represents our dedication to delivering an
exceptional retail experience to our valued consumers and athletes. We are thrilled to show up in a stronger way. We are a growing sportwear brand and this expansion in the iconic Sandton City underpins an exciting milestone as we continue to elevate brand-lead retail experiences.”

The opening was marked in true Under Armour style, as Collinicos (a semi pro footballer) delivered a
spectacular free kick that shattered a glass door, symbolically marking the grand opening. This bold stunt
perfectly embodied the innovation and audacity at the heart of the Under Armour brand. Brent Venter, Head of Retail for Apollo Brands expressed his pride in this launch saying, “Under Armour has never been afraid to push the limits and this is no different. I’m sure that you’ll agree that this new space optimises our efforts to inspire our athletes with a powerful assortment of premium technical products to
service their performance needs. We are thrilled to bring our product and this immersive shopping experience to the South African market.”

The Under Armour Icon Brand House features many innovative firsts that create a unique shopping
experience. It showcases a technologically advanced, fully curved LED storefront and the only curved
footwear wall in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Adding to this is a transparent LED screen—a first for South Africa – that adds a futuristic feel to the store, that features high-definition visuals and product highlights that engage consumers more dynamically than traditional displays.

A range of smart fitting rooms have been equipped with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, that acts as a personal shop assistant. Once a shopper enters these fitting rooms, the embedded system recognises the items brought in and immediately displays related products, sizes and colours on an integrated iPad. This feature not only enhances shopper convenience but also personalises the shopping journey by suggesting complementary outfits and alternatives, effectively transforming the fitting room into an interactive shopping hub. Continuing the theme of innovation, the Icon Brand House also boasts a striking 3D printed relief map of the Johannesburg skyline. This meticulously crafted 3D map highlights key sporting venues around Johannesburg, raising them prominently to capture the vibrant sports culture of the area. The map serves not only as an artistic installation but also as a functional guide, for those with a sporting mindset.

The store’s design pays homage to its South African roots, featuring localised elements including exclusive artwork by renowned artist Sinenhlanhla (Sine) Chauke that adorns the walls. A dedicated “chill” area, decorated with fabrics inspired by South African designs, offers a relaxing space for athletes. Another localised feature of the store is the 3D Johannesburg skyline, that brings to life key sporting venues around the city of gold such as the Wanderers Club, Pirates Club, Ellis Park Stadium, and Calabash Stadium to name a few.

These elements, along with large digital LED screens strategically placed in the footwear area, not only
enhance the visual appeal of the store but also create a sense of belonging and community among visitors. The launch event was attended by top-performing Under Armour sponsored athletes, including Olympic swimming gold medallist and world record holder Tatjana Smith (formerly Schoenmaker), prominent soccer player Kegan Johannes, and professional boxer Kevin Lerena. This offered shoppers a unique opportunity to meet some of South Africa’s premier sports talents. “It’s a privilege to be part of this momentous launch event. Under Armour stands out as a global leader in sports apparel for good reason, and now, South Africans will have the chance to see firsthand why it’s truly in
a league of its own,”
says Tatjana Smith.

The Brand House features an extensive selection of Under Armour’s latest seasonal merchandise including:

  • Under Armour Warm and Mega Warm Cold Weather running shoes
  • Under Armour Machina Storm
  • Under Armour HOVR 3 SE
  • Under Armour Infinite Pro series
  • Under Armour Cold Weather training gear
  • Under Armour Unstoppable range

To make the launch even more memorable, the first 50 shoppers received exclusive Under Armour printed
T-shirts or tote bags, providing them with a memorable takeaway from their shopping experience. Collinicos adds, “This isn’t just a retail space; our Icon Brand House; Sandton City is a gateway to an
enhanced sportswear shopping experience. We’re excited to invite our South African athletes and consumers to step into an experience where innovation meets inspiration.”

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