Under Armour Sportswear and Sagamore Spirit Whiskey Company, both owned by Kevin Plank, have joined forces with Baltimore healthcare workers to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Both companies have switched from manufacturing their consumer products to produce critically needed supplies for medical professionals and hospitals throughout the Baltimore area.

Under Armour Manufactures Desperately Needed Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

As of April 13th, Under Armour has provided 20,000 face masks to Johns Hopkins Health System, and in its factory in Port Covington, is manufacturing 500,000 face shields, face masks, and fanny packs for local hospital personnel. The Under Armour facility has high speed cutting machines that produce 300,000 no-sew masks each week. These masks are also distributed to MedStar and the University of Maryland Medical System as well as the Johns Hopkins Health System.

Sagamore Spirit Whiskey Company Switches from Spirits to Hand Sanitizer

Once COVID-19 entered the United States, products such as hand sanitizer were in short supply. Hand sanitizer is greatly needed in health facilities that treat patients infected with COVID-19. Within ten days, Sagamore Spirit Whiskey Company refitted their brewing and bottling equipment from distilling whiskey to producing corn ethanol to provide hand sanitizer. So far, they have produced over 54,000 liters of hand sanitizer to go to the Johns Hopkins Health System.

Under Armour Gives Back to the Community

When the pandemic hit, Under Armour chose to donate their cafeteria’s fresh food at their global headquarters to the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House. Under Armour further donated $1 million dollars to Feeding America to provide food for 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, and 200 food banks, to provide food to communities where Under Armour employees work and live. They started an online fitness challenge called “Healthy at Home,” to encourage people to stay active during the pandemic.

Furthermore, they donated products and money to Good Sports, a nonprofit organization that ensures youth sports leagues have the necessary apparel, equipment, and footwear.

What Whiskey and Sportswear Have in Common

At first glance, whiskey and sportswear do not seem to have much in common. However, both Under Armour and Sagamore Spirit are headquartered in Baltimore and owned by Kevin Plank. Kevin Plank got his start in Baltimore, and he is immensely proud of his city.

Kevin Plank started Under Armour in 1996 in his grandmother’s basement in Baltimore. He had been the captain of the University of Maryland’s football team and noticed that his teammates’ uniforms were soaked with sweat. Recognizing that compression shorts stayed dry because they wicked moisture. He used $20,000 of his own money, earned from selling t-shirts, and about $40,000 spread across five credit cards to start his new company. Within a year, he was out of money, but to his luck, Georgia Tech bought $17,000 of his product. Shortly after that, over a dozen NFL teams were putting in orders for clothing that kept their players dry. Under Armour has since grown to sales of nearly $2 Billion USD, and has made Kevin Plank a billionaire. 

On the Road to Recovery

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is looking to transition the Maryland from coronavirus lockdown to coronavirus recovery as early as May. But the Maryland Coronavirus Recovery Plan needed knowledgeable and capable individuals tasked to handle the recovery in stages. That is why along with several doctors, state officials, and first responders, Governor Hogan has appointed Kevin Plank to be on Maryland’s Coronavirus Recovery Team. The recovery will go in stages with Stage I lifting the Stay-At-Home orders, reopening small businesses, and allowing people to enjoy recreation outdoors. Provided that there are no spikes in COVID-19 infections or deaths, the next phases would be implemented as the team oversees them.