Under Armour South Africa has announced the appointment of Darren Cooke as its new Managing Director.
He takes over from Gareth Kemp, who has been running the ship as Chief Executive Officer of Ares Holdings (Pty) Ltd, the appointed distributor for Under Armour, Birkenstock, Crocs and 2xU in Southern Africa, since July 2021.
Cooke’s career spans over 20 years, with broad global experience in the retail industry, having contributed to the local growth of sportswear brand Adidas. That included working in the Levant and North Africa region, managing a number of different subsidiaries, and overseeing complex export business in more than 20 different countries.
“Cooke has significant experience within the industry, having been National Sales Director and subsequently Territory Lead for one of the leading sports apparel and footwear brands,” said Kemp. “Cooke brings vision, structure, and great determination to our team and we look forward to his leadership driving the strength and growth of Under Armour into the future”.
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“I admire the manner in which Gareth and the team have grown the brand locally in the past five years,” said Cooke. “I’m certainly very privileged to take the baton and to take us forward. Fortunately, I’m coming in at a good time; the brand is at an amazing place at the moment and the industry is doing very well. I’m delighted to say we have very ambitious and exciting plans for the next five years and we are working as a team to realise them.”
The announcement was made at Under Armour’s Mental Strength Symposium event, called ‘Through 2021’ and held in Cape Town.