November 14, 2017

UCLA Anderson School of Management Honors Under Armour Chairman and CEO Kevin Plank

LOS ANGELES, November 13, 2017 — UCLA Anderson School of Management honored Under Armour founder, chairman and CEO Kevin Plank Monday with the 2017 John Wooden Global Leadership Award at a gala dinner at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion.

Now marking its 10th year, the award is named for legendary UCLA basketball coach, author and leadership expert John Wooden (1910-2010). It is given each year to an exceptional U.S. business leader whose leadership style and service to the community reflect the same high standards of performance, integrity and ethical values set by Wooden.  

Plank was selected as this year's Wooden Award recipient in recognition of his business leadership, philanthropic activities and commitment to community, which includes plans by Under Armour to help reinvigorate parts of Baltimore, where the company has its headquarters.  

"Kevin Plank was daring enough to challenge an industry, with a vision to build a sportswear company that enables athletes to perform better," said UCLA Anderson Dean Judy Olian, who presented the award. "He's not just an enormously successful entrepreneur. Taking a page out of Coach Wooden's playbook, he's a leader who seeks to empower men and women around the world to follow their dreams and excel as confident, passionate competitors."  

At Monday's banquet, Peter Guber, a Hollywood executive, co-owner of the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Dodgers, and a lecturer at UCLA Anderson, held an on-stage conversation with Plank about leadership, values and the Wooden legacy.  

"Just know that you can start something in the trunk of your car, in a basement and make something great," Plank said in accepting the award. "What you need is a team."  

Former UCLA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (B.A. '69), a six-time NBA champion and six-time MVP who played for Coach Wooden on three national championship teams, also made a special appearance.  

Abdul-Jabbar spoke movingly of Wooden, his former coach, mentor and longtime friend: "I'm glad I got the chance to play for this man. He was all about excellence."  

Plank founded Under Armour in 1996 while serving as special teams' captain of the University of Maryland football team. Tired of repeatedly changing the cotton T-shirt under his jersey as it became wet and heavy during a game, he set out to develop a next-generation shirt that would remain drier and lighter. He created the high-performance answer to the sweat-drenched cotton dilemma, and built Under Armour into a leading athletic apparel, footwear and equipment company, outfitting athletes around the world. 

Previous John Wooden Global Leadership honorees include: W. James (Jim) McNerney, Jr. (retired chairman, president and CEO, The Boeing Company); Ursula Burns (chairman and CEO, Xerox); Paul E. Jacobs (executive chairman, Qualcomm); Robert Iger (chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company); Indra Nooyi (chairman and CEO, PepsiCo); Peter Ueberroth (managing director, Contrarian Group, and president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee); Frederick Smith (president and CEO, FedEx); Kenneth Chenault (chairman and CEO, American Express Company), and Howard Schultz (chairman, president and CEO, Starbucks).  

Net proceeds from the annual event support fellowships for UCLA Anderson students who embody Coach Wooden's leadership ideals and commitment to improving the lives of others. Each of the four 2017 John Wooden Global Leadership Fellows will receive a $25,000 fellowship:

  • Evan Barnes (EMBA '18)
  • Anna Goldberg (MBA '18)
  • Sana Rahim (FEMBA '19)
  • Brandon Scott (MBA/M.D. '18)  

About the John Wooden Global Leadership Award

As the most successful coach in U.S. men's college basketball history, Wooden's legacy of leadership transcends athletics and spans generations. As a coach, prolific author and inspiring speaker, he dedicated his life to motivating people to achieve their highest potential. Wooden instilled in others a sense of pride, a commitment to ethics and a respect for teamwork. UCLA Anderson extends these fundamental principles and Wooden's famous Pyramid of Success into the classroom through the Wooden Global Leadership Program. Learn more about the John Wooden Global Leadership Award, fellowships and UCLA Anderson School of Management.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management

UCLA Anderson School of Management is among the leading business schools in the world, with faculty members globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Located in Los Angeles, gateway to the economies of Latin America and Asia and a city that personifies innovation in a diverse range of endeavors, UCLA Anderson's MBA, Fully Employed MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA for Asia Pacific, Master of Financial Engineering, Master of Science in Business Analytics, doctoral and executive education programs embody the school's Think in the Next ethos. Annually, some 1,800 students are trained to be global leaders seeking the business models and community solutions of tomorrow.   Contact Information: UCLA Anderson Marketing and Communications, (310) 825-1348,

Contact Information

UCLA Anderson Office of Media Relations, (310) 206-7537,

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