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Posted on: Thursday - Jun 25, 2015

It was close to 100 degrees the day I visited 13 Athlete’s Way in Mt. Juliet. I strapped on my Under Armour branded hardhat and reflective vest and began what would result in a three mile tour through a construction zone. 

The site was nearly unrecognizable from the last time I was there in October when Athlete’s Way didn’t yet exist. Wasting no time, Under Armour stayed true to its project name, Fast Break, and broke ground on that October day just minutes after announcing its plans to invest $100 million in a new one million square foot distribution and warehousing facility.

In just eight months, the site has completely transformed, and in the center of 83 acres sits the beginnings of what will be a state-of-the-art building with enough space to hold 23 football fields under its roof. Throughout my tour with Eric Wanner, senior director for Under Armour’s Nashville operations, I couldn’t help but be drawn in by the lifestyle of the brand. Wanner referred to the massive structure as a “distribution house,” echoing the company’s “Protect this House” campaign. He never called staff employees, but rather teammates. “We want to be the employer of choice in Wilson County, so how we take care of our teammates is the foundation of what we’re building,” he said as we walked past rows and rows of shelving painted in UA’s signature red and black.

A PORTION OF THE 12+ MILE CONVEYOR SYSTEM IN UA’S DISTRIBUTION HOUSE
A TEAMMATE DONNING A FAST BREAK T-SHIRT PAINTS RAILINGS IN UA COLORS
EQUIPMENT ON THE FLOOR OF THE 1 MILLION SF FACILITY

Once construction is complete, in early 2016, the distribution house will boast quite a few impressive features including a 12+ mile conveyor system, over 600,000 square feet of climate controlled operating space (which includes the mezzanines), automated receiving, voice-directed picking, 27 receiving doors, 51 shipping doors and custom adjustable work stations designed to provide the most efficient work area for each individual teammate. And while all of that is indeed impressive, what UA’s teammates might be most excited about are the 4,000 square foot fitness center and 10,000 square foot team engagement area which will include a half-court basketball court, ping pong tables and other activities for the teammates. “We’ve partnered with local gym design consultants to help us with the design of the fitness center and we are in the process of scheduling trainers to provide classes for our teammates,” Wanner said. “Under Armour focuses on making athletes better, but we’re just as focused on making our teammates better.”

Wanner went on to explain that while constructing the distribution house, UA has strived to be as environmentally conscious as possible. Motion activated LED warehouse lighting is being installed in lieu of standard fluorescent lights, and massive windows and skylights allow natural light to filter in. The mezzanine decking is made of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood ResinDek boards, and white-colored roofing material is being used in order to reduce the heat island effect caused by dark surfaces.

As we concluded the tour and I returned my safety gear, it was clear that Under Armour is well on its way to laying the groundwork of its latest distribution house while incorporating the company’s four pillars of greatness: Make A Great Product, Tell A Great Story, Provide A Great Service and Build A Great Team. 

OVER 600,000 SF OF CLIMATE CONTROLLED SPACE
SHELVING AND CONVEYORS
EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION ON THE 83 ACRE SITE