Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank: We're not going anywhere, despite internationally focused MLB deal

Under Armour's Plank: We're not going anywhere

Regardless of the administration in place, the leaders of Under Armour and Major League Baseball are looking forward to their partnership, which will work in part to expand both brands' international footprints, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank told CNBC on Wednesday.

Major League Baseball announced Monday that it signed a 10-year contract with Under Armour, the athletic apparel maker's first deal with a professional sports league. Under Armour will provide the league's 30 teams with all of their on-field uniforms starting in the 2020 season.

"To take down one of the [major sports] leagues, and most importantly a league that we think has such incredible momentum, has such incredible leadership and frankly, a vision of what it can be and the definition of America's pastime, means the world to us," Plank said.

"Especially as we look to grow out being a global brand, there's nothing more iconically American than, I think, the sport of baseball, so it's an easy step for our company and really makes sense for the brand," he told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

But the sport's all-American trademark may not stay so for long, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in the interview with Plank.

"We have big plans internationally. A key feature of the basic agreement we just negotiated will be an increase in our international play. We have a great new deal in China, Kevin's [brand is] very strong in China, and we're anxious to try to build our international footprint," Manfred told CNBC.

Their global goals beckoned the question of how the companies will fare under a Trump administration, which has been publicly cracking down on companies taking their business overseas.

"First and foremost, we're not going anywhere," Plank said, citing Under Armour's construction of a new e-commerce distribution facility in Baltimore, Maryland, that he said would bring 1,000 jobs to the city.

"We're going to do things globally, internationally, but we also want to make sure baseball's driving here," he said.

Still, Plank said he was excited for the future, in which a new, more economically oriented administration may help ease relations between public officials and corporations.

"The positioning of this acrimonious relationship between government and business, I think it's a bit misguided. It's about time for things to get righted with that just because, first and foremost, people in business, they want to do the right thing," Plank said.

The CEO said the easing of tensions could also help align corporations' priorities as they adjust to the new economic environment.

"I believe that shift is happening where doing what's right for your shareholder, particularly for consumer-facing brands, is also doing what's right for your community and your own people," he said.

On the international front, Manfred said the major league hopes to continue recruiting players from Cuba, despite the president-elect's threat to end the detente between Cuba and the U.S. if our southern neighbor could not negotiate "a better deal."

"We'd like to get to a situation where Cuban players can come here, play and return to Cuba if that's what they choose to do," Manfred said.

"We don't see it, in the immediate future, as a real economic opportunity for us, and obviously what the administration's policy is will dictate what our efforts are going to be in Cuba," the commissioner said.

Under Armour renamed its Class A and Class C shares, effective Wednesday. The Nov. 28 announcement triggered a 9 percent surge in the Class C shares, a common, nonvoting stock class.

Under Armour's Class C shares were up over 5.5 percent Wednesday morning, trading at $26.82 a share. The athletic gear maker's Class A shares were up just under 4 percent, trading at $32.16 a share.