She Got Game

Under Armour’s Samantha Sankovich talks shoes, sports, and Stephen Curry.

Sports have always been a central part of Samantha Sankovich’s life. A former University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) lacrosse player, the Fallston native is as much an avid sports viewer as she is an athlete. (To this day, she teaches spin classes at REV Cycle Studio in Locust Point and the Maryland Athletic Club in Harbor East.)

After graduating from UMBC, she “took [her] talents” to South Beach—“that’s a LeBron-ism,” she cracks—to attend the University of Miami where she received her master’s degree in broadcast journalism. When Sankovich returned to Baltimore, she eventually got a job at Under Armour and was immediately drawn to the company’s hard-charging ethos.

She soon climbed the ranks and is now associate product line manager of basketball footwear. Her job is simply to “own” the basketball footwear line, starting with researching the market for trends, briefing the designers on those trends, working with samples, and collaborating on merchandising opportunities to get the shoes in the market.

“The trend of wearing a traditional basketball shoe off the court as a fashion shoe is definitely growing. It’s pretty prevalent in more fashion-forward cities, but I see people starting to embrace it in Baltimore,” she explains.

Of course, Under Armour has been incredibly lucky—and shrewd—with its endorsements. To wit: the signing of Stephen Curry, now arguably the No. 1 basketball player and the most marketable athlete in the world.

“The addition of Stephen Curry to our UA basketball roster has been huge for us. Not only has he allowed us to show off our latest, amazing product and technologies, but he has allowed the world to see that UA Basketball is nothing to mess with,” she says. “I live across from the Under Armour Brand House in Harbor East, and waking up on a Saturday morning to see a line outside the store for people to be the first to purchase our newly dropped product—it’s like Christmas morning each time for me.”