Kevin Plank has never shied away from risks on the golden road to wealth. It was his gutsy move to utilize football players and bodybuilders to popularize Under Armour in its nascent stages—a strategy that has paid off handsomely.

Plank, who played football at the University of Maryland, started the brand to help athletes stay cool and dry under extreme conditions.

Now, having forged ties with adventure brands like The North Face and Timberland, Plank plans to continue exploring new textiles and high-tech innovations to boost comfort—and sales.