Nattaphol Phanichkul: A Seasoned Commercial Strategist & Inspiring Leader In The World Of Sportswear

Nattaphol Phanichkul: A Seasoned Commercial Strategist & Inspiring Leader In The World Of Sportswear

Nattaphol Phanichkul, Director

Nattaphol Phanichkul


Under Armour, a renowned athletic apparel and footwear brand, holds a distinct value and mission centered around empowering and assisting athletes in their pursuit of excellence. With a commitment to innovation, Under Armour strives to create cutting-edge products that enhance athletes' performance and enable them to surpass their limits. By leveraging advanced technologies, rigorous research and development, and partnerships with world-class athletes, Under Armour creates gear designed to optimize comfort, functionality, and durability, allowing athletes to perform at their best. This serves the vision to inspire athletes with performance solutions they never knew they needed and can’t imagine living without.

Furthermore, Under Armour's mission extends beyond physical products, as they actively engage in initiatives that support athletes' personal growth, well-being, and mental resilience. From sponsoring youth sports programs to advocating for inclusive and diverse athletic communities, Under Armour emphasizes its dedication to fostering the success and development of athletes at all levels.

Nattaphol Phanichkul, Director of Under Armour Thailand, is dedicated to delivering the brand’s vision to the athletes and sportswear sector in Thailand. During an exclusive interview, Nattaphol Phanichkul provided insights into the organization's captivating journey and his evolving leadership passion for people development.

Give a brief account of your professional journey.

In my professional journey, I have held diverse commercial positions ranging from a Sales Manager, a Commercial Lead, and a Country General Manager, to a SEA Regional Account Team Lead. While my expertise primarily lies in the consumer goods industry working for companies P&G, Nike, and Samsung, recently, I have also gained valuable experience leading a Business Development team in a Tech start-up, exploring the potential applications of the Metaverse and Web3 technology across various sectors. Throughout my career, I have come to understand that success is not solely dependent on the latest technology, but instead on our ability to innovate to better serve consumers, forge strategic partnerships, and foster an organizational environment that attracts and nurtures talented individuals. People and partnerships are at the core of my approach, and I have actively pursued executive training and coaching certifications to enhance my leadership and team facilitation skills.

A great partnership is built on trust, pursuing mutual excellence, & leveraging each other's strengths. It involves being open to feedback & embracing new learnings

Tell us about your academic experience at Chulalongkorn University Thailand. Which are the times you found these learnings beneficial in your journey so far?

During my academic journey at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations, followed by a Master’s degree in International Economics and Finance. These two disciplines, Political Science and Economics, provided contrasting yet complementary approaches to learning and thinking. In Political Science, I honed my skills in structuring information, constructing persuasive viewpoints, and managing ambiguity, which proved invaluable in navigating business and people related situations. Economics, on the other hand, fostered analytical thinking, equipping me with logical reasoning and problem-solving techniques.

As the Director, what recent strategies have you employed to optimise operations and engage new market audiences?

To foster engagement between consumers and our brand, we, Under Armour Thailand, constantly support the success and development of Thai athletes at all levels. One example is the "UA NEXT" campaign where we partnered with Chulalongkorn University and some leading sport performance experts to support and develop high-potential young athletes aged 13-20 years to become professional athletes.

Another example is the “UA Combine”, a competition that is open for any level of athletes to go through 8 physical performance challenges and see how they can push themselves beyond their limits “UA 5x5 Thailand” a basketball competition event where we bridged the experience of sports with entertainment and attracted a wider range of audiences. Additionally, by forging strategic partnerships with renowned retailers, we are expanding our reach and access to customers, resulting in increased brand visibility and consumer engagement.

Describe your leadership style. What principles or methods do you adhere to as a leader?

As a Commercial Leader, my approach centres around nurturing the potential of individuals to achieve enduring business results. I prioritize mentorship and coaching for junior and mid-level executives, actively supporting their personal and professional growth. Alongside technical expertise, I emphasise fostering soft skills such as team empathy and emotional intelligence, cultivating a growth mindset, and honing strategic and impactful communication. I also prioritize facilitating crucial conversations and effectively managing team performance. By embracing these principles, I aim to cultivate an environment that empowers individuals to excel and contributes to the sustained success of the organization.

Could you tell me the major milestones of your professional journey so far and what is your success mantra?

One of my significant achievements in my previous role involved transforming a partner's business model by implementing a new retail concept. This endeavor presented numerous opportunities and challenges as it required collaboration with teams at both regional and global levels. Successfully balancing the needs and expectations of stakeholders, both locally and internationally, was a key aspect of this project. Throughout this experience, I learned valuable lessons in partnership building and influencing others to foster collaboration and drive collective success. This achievement has instilled in me a mantra of “a great partnership” and has equipped me with the skills to navigate complex dynamics and achieve impactful outcomes.

Nattaphol Phanichkul, Director, Under Armour Thailand

Nattaphol Phanichkul is a seasoned Commercial Strategist with 18 years of experience in partnership business development, marketplace management, and digital transformation. With a background in FMCG, Sporting Goods, and Telecom MNCs, Nattaphol has held roles as a Country General Manager and Sales Leader. Throughout his career, Nattaphol has successfully led sales teams and cross-functional units, showcasing his diverse expertise and leadership abilities in driving business growth and fostering strategic partnerships.

Current Issue