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- Under Armour executives allegedly visited strip clubs on the company dime before the practice was banned earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- Kevin Plank, the company’s CEO and founder, reportedly accompanied coworkers and athletes on strip club trips, though Under Armour denies he conducted business or used company funds at the venues.
- The strip club visits were “symptomatic of practices women at Under Armour found demeaning,” The Journal reported.
- Under Armour also reportedly invited female employees to a company party based on attractiveness.
Under Armour executives allegedly visited strip clubs with coworkers and athletes on the company dime before policies changed earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported. And, CEO and founder Kevin Plank was reportedly among the executives who made such trips.
In February, employees received an email that stated they could no longer reimburse adult entertainment as a corporate expense, according to The Journal, which spoke with more than a dozen current and former employees and executives. Prior to that point, the company had reportedly paid for executives and employees to visit strip clubs after some corporate and sporting events over the years.
“One venue popular with some employees was the Scores club, featuring nude dancers, near downtown Baltimore and a short drive from Under Armour headquarters,” The Journal reported. “On some visits, employees charged hundreds of dollars there to the company, according to some of the people familiar with the matter.”
Under Armour told The Journal that the company does not tolerate the use of company funds on adult entertainment. The company also denied that Plank conducted business or used company funds at strip clubs.
“We have addressed these serious allegations of the past and will continue to address workplace behavior that violates our policies,” an Under Armour representative said in a statement to Business Insider. “Inappropriate behavior that challenges our values or violates our policies is unacceptable – and will not be tolerated. We are committed to providing a respectful and inclusive workplace.”
According to The Journal, the strip club visits were “symptomatic of practices women at Under Armour found demeaning.”
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The treatment of women at Under Armour reportedly influenced the guest list at a party the company hosts the day before the Preakness Stakes. The party is held at Plank’s horse farm in Maryland.
“Though invitations were usually limited to executives, company event managers invited young female staffers based on attractiveness to appeal to male guests, according to former employees – a practice the event managers called ‘stocking the pond,'” The Journal reports. “Some people who attended last year said they were uncomfortable because the company had brought in go-go dancers wearing cutoff shorts and midriff tops.”
The Journal’s article also raised issues related to former top male executives’ behavior.
Scott Plank, an early employee and the founder’s brother, reportedly left the company in 2012 amid allegations of sexual misconduct. A person familiar with the matter told The Journal that Kip Fulks, the company’s cofounder who is currently on a sabbatical, violated company policy by having a romantic relationship with a subordinate. Neither Scott Plank nor Fulks commented on the allegations to The Journal.
There are currently no female executives in Under Armour’s C-suite, with human-resources chief Kerry Chandler departing the company last month. Under Armour clarified to Business Insider that the acting human-resources chief is a woman.