CEO Kevin Plank Impresses the Crowd at CES 2017

By Motley Fool Staff Markets Fool.com

As many expected, Under ArmourCEO Kevin Plank stole the show during CES last week with his keynote presentation that included some very special guests. But while Plank shared interesting details regarding his ambitious vision for the company and recent efforts in the connected fitness space, there were plenty of other places for investors to track down new trends and companies worth following.

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In this special report, Motley Fool analyst David Kretzmann shares his experience at the conference.

A full transcript follows the video.

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David Kretzmann:

Greetings, and welcome to day three of CES 2017 here in Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm David Kretzmann of Motley Fool Supernova, and I'll walk you through some of the highlights that we experienced today at CES.

First, we had a chance to visit NXP Semiconductors, a company doing a lot of work bringing more devices and more items in our world online into the Internet of Things along with the connected home and other key trends like that that we've been hearing a lot about here at CES.

Among other things, NXP Semiconductors is really the company enabling that voice-activation technology in Amazon's devices like the Echo. The company is doing a lot of other work to bridge that gap between the hardware side and the software side of the Internet of Things, so we were able to explore more with NXP and what the company is doing there with the Internet of Things.

We also had a chance to talk with the founder and CEO of 2U. 2U is a company a lot of people probably haven't heard of. It's a company that's partnering with a lot of high-level colleges and universities (including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, UC Berkeley, and many others), bringing their traditional curriculum online, essentially enabling people around the U.S. and potentially around the world to take these courses from these great universities and colleges online [and] bringing the higher-education space online. So we had a chance to hear more about what 2U is doing and key trends to watch with higher education moving online in the 21st century.

Last but not least, and certainly the highlight of the day and potentially the highlight of the week, was the keynote presentation from Under Armour founder and CEO Kevin Plank. The bulk of the presentation really focused on the company's efforts in the connected fitness space.

Over the past three years, the company has spent over $700 million acquiring three different apps that [have] nearly 200 million collective users today. The company, with those acquisitions, is really seeking to acquire data from its customers, so get a sense for what people are eating, when they're exercising, how long they're exercising, what type of exercise they're doing -- capturing that data and using that data to more effectively see the needs of those athletes and serve the needs of those athletes.

The bulk of the company's new platform has a lot to do with sleep, rest, and recovery. The company brought out Michael Phelps, the Olympian swimmer. Brought out Arianna Huffington, who's done a lot of research on the importance of sleep and recovery to maximize performance as an athlete and as a human being in terms of productivity.

This really seems to be a new area of focus for the company -- bringing products to consumers that consumers didn't even know that they wanted. The goal is that once consumers are using these products, they'll wonder how they ever could go back to life without these Under Armour products. So a lot of high-level vision from Kevin Plank, as usual. He is a very competitive CEO, a driven entrepreneur. We learned more about what Under Armour is doing in that connected fitness space.

You can learn about all of this, and more, in my report today from CES, and be sure to check out the other two reports that we've put out this week from CES highlighting some of the key trends, businesses, and technologies that we think investors should be paying close attention to, to reap long-term rewards.

Thank you so much for tuning in, and we'll see you again soon. This is David Kretzmann live from CES signing off. Fool on!

David Kretzmann owns shares of Amazon.com, NXP Semiconductors, Under Armour (A Shares), and Under Armour (C Shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon.com, Under Armour (A Shares), and Under Armour (C Shares). The Motley Fool recommends 2U and NXP Semiconductors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.