Under Armour's Latest Badasses Are the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team

Soccer Star Memphis DePay, Michael Phelps Are Also Part of Brand's Biggest Global Push Ever

Published on

Editor's Pick

Under Armour will showcase the U.S. women's gymnastics team and international soccer star Memphis Depay in its biggest -- and most digitally focused -- global campaign to date. And the rising sports brand is not stopping there: Longtime endorser Michael Phelps will join the campaign in March via a short film, and the brand will eventually feature many of its athlete endorsers in social-media executions.

The effort builds on the "Rule Yourself" campaign that launched last fall and featured ads showing Misty Copeland, Stephen Curry and Jordan Spieth in multiples as they rigorously trained. The new campaign continues the training theme, but adds the tagline, "It's What You Do in the Dark That Puts You in the Light." The agency is Droga5.

The gymnastics spot is a high-energy interplay of scenes of the U.S. women's team undergoing their grueling training rituals, set to the driving track "Matangi" from M.I.A. The soccer ad is more contemplative but no less dramatic and intercuts various scenes of Depay's training. It intersperses close-up scenes of the player with gorgeous long-shots that depict him kicking a ball across the field in the middle of the night, while "rahs" of fans play in the background. Both ads were directed by Epoch's Martin de Thurah.

The goal is to use more than 200 pieces of content to go deeper behind the scenes of the training regimens of Under Armour endorsers. The theme goes against the prevailing desire for instant gratification that is embodied in the popular hashtag "FOMO," which stands for the fear of missing out, said Adrienne Lofton, senior VP of global brand marketing for Under Armour. The brand will instead push "JOMO," or the joy of missing out, to signify the sacrifices top athletes must make to reach the top as they step away from aspects of daily life to focus on training.

"It's not always the sexiest conversation you can have with a young athlete, but it is the most important" Ms. Lofton said. "So our challenge and our brief to ourselves is how do we make this sticky enough and important enough to reseed the meaning hard work in a young athlete's mind."

In doing so, Under Armour will turn to digital communication like it has never done before. The brand is changing its media mix from 70% TV and 30% digital to 50%-50%. The strategy includes distributing content via the social-media accounts of Under Armour's paid endorsers, such as Mr. Curry, Ms. Copeland and Lindsey Vonn. Mr. Curry -- who just might be the biggest National Basketball Association star today -- has 4.42 million Twitter followers.

Under Armour will also call on consumers to describe their own training rituals on social media while using "#ruleyourself." Under Armour has arrangements with its star athletes to call out specific user tweets and posts on social media. The brand will also reward some consumers who use the hashtag with gifts such as a t-shirt.

Read more on the campaign on Adage.com.

Rate this Ad
No starts selected .5 stars 1 star 1.5 stars 2 stars 2.5 stars 3 stars 3.5 stars 4 stars 4.5 stars 5 stars

You must be registered to rate the ad. Please Login or Register Now


Feb 23, 2016
Under Armour
Creative Chairman:
David Droga
Ted Royer
David Droga
Tim Gordon
Alexander Nowak
Felix Richter
Toby Treyer-Evans
Laurie Howell
Design Director:
Cynthia Ratasbouth
Chief Creation Officer:
Sally-Ann Dale
Head of Broadcast Production:
Ben Davies
Executive Producer:
Adam Perloff
Head of Interactive Production:
Niklas Lindstrom
Head of Art Production:
Cliff Lewis
Senior Art Producer:
Julia Menassa
Senior Print Producer:
Alyssa Dolman
Retouching Studio Manager:
Michelle Leedy
John Ciambriello
Peter Gibson
Jennifer Lally
Tessa Modi
Head of Communications Strategy:
Colleen Leddy
Global Chief Strategy Officer:
Jonny Bauer
Head of Strategy:
Chet Gulland
Group Strategy Director:
Harry Roman
Brand Strategist:
Candice Chen
Senior Communications Strategist:
Hillary Heath
Group Account Director:
Julian Cheevers
Account Director:
Brian D'Entremont
Account Manager:
Jordan Cappadocia
Associate Account Manager:
Scott Bubis
Project Manager:
Courtney Kosup
Production Company:
Epoch Films
Martin de Thurah
Kasper Tuxen
Executive Producer:
Melissa Culligan
Michaela Johnson
Leo Scott
Post Production:
Sound Design:
String and Tins/Q Department
Mixer/Sound Editing:
Chris Afzal
Thomas Prior
CEO & Founder:
Kevin Plank
Kip Fulks
SVP, Global Brand Marketing:
Adrienne Lofton
SVP, Global Brand Creative:
Steve Battista
VP, Global Creative and Design:
Brian Boring
SVP, Global Brand Strategy:
Rick Anguilla
Sr. Director, Global Brand Marketing:
Jasmine Maietta
Director, Integrated Campaign Planning/Global Operations:
Teresa Oles
SVP, Global Communications:
Diane Pelkey
VP, Media:
Steve Sommers

See more credits

Latest Creativity News on Ad Age

Related work

The Creativity Daily Newsletter

Get highlights of the most important daily news delivered to your e-mail inbox. Receive Our Newsletters.

Become a Member of Ad Age