Under Armour: No More Expensing Strip Club Visits
The party’s over for Under Armour Inc. executives and employees who used the company credit card to pay for visits to strip clubs.
There’s now a restriction for the long-time practice, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal published on Monday. The company sent an email earlier this year, informing employees that corporate cards to pay for strip clubs, gambling and other adult entertainment is now prohibited.
Under Armour Chairman and CEO Kevin Plank leads a predominantly male executive leadership team, except for the company’s interim CHRO, Michele Campion. The Baltimore-based retailer is said to have fostered a culture degrading to women.
In comparison, on average, 30 percent of the CEO and direct reports level at the DiversityInc Top 10 and Hall of Fame companies are women, while 24.2 percent are racially diverse (11.2 percent Black, 8 percent Latino and 5 percent Asian). Under Amour has never participated in DiversityInc’s Top 50 competition.
Plank and President Patrik Frisk told employees on Monday that The Wall Street Journal article was “tough to read.”
“This is not the culture we envision for Under Armour,” they wrote, in a letter obtained by CNN Business.
The men also said that a “meaningful cultural transformation” is already taking place at the company. “We can and will do better,” they added.
Plank participated in some of the strip club visits with athletes and co-workers, according to the report, which quoted interviews with more than a dozen mostly anonymous current and former employees and executives. Under Armour told the Journal that Plank didn’t conduct business at strip clubs or use company funds.
However, these outings “were symptomatic of practices women at Under Armour found demeaning,” the report said.
The company has partnerships with prominent women, including Misty Copeland.
In 2017, Copeland and other athletes with Under Armour endorsement deals, including Dwayne Johnson and Stephen Curry, slammed Plank for stating his support for President Trump.
“I think [President Trump] is highly passionate,” Plank said in a CNBC interview. “To have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country. People can really grab that opportunity.”