Under Armour Makes A Splash

Written by chicceo Published in

Under Armour Becomes Formidable Marketing Competitor


The latest Under Armour campaign is taking a turn from its traditional marketing strategy, gearing its advertising towards women instead of the professional male athlete. The campaign highlights a trailblazer ballerina, Misty Copeland, who is positioned not just as a dancer but as a physically strong and driven athlete. In lieu of the traditional tutu and ruffles, the ad shows Misty wearing an Under Armour tank top and underwear bottoms. Using the slogan "I Will What I Want", the campaign encapsulates Misty's journey, detailing the struggles and roadblocks that Misty faced while working to become a dancer for the Ballet Theatre, striking a chord with strong, motivated women nationwide. 

So why is this advertisement gaining so much attention and why is it revolutionary within the fitness, apparel and business industries? Currently, women are buying their athletic gear from Lululemon and Nike, mega brands whose marketing campaigns have consistently and successfully catered to a female audience. By creating a $15 million dollar campaign specifically aimed at women, strong women, Under Armour is acknowledging that the female athlete market is a formidable competitor (pun intended) within the fitness apparel industry, and gives a nod to the new norm in marketing to women: strong and capable, leaders in whatever field they choose to pursue.  This new advertisement shows Misty Copeland, a strong athletic ballerina doing a solo dance while wearing her Under Armour gear. While the dance plays out, Misty reads aloud a rejection letter that she has received from a ballet academy, displaying the hurdles that she, as an accomplished athlete, has overcome. By using Misty’s real life experience, Under Armour aims to stand out amongst its competition by specifically acknowledging the rejections women face and spinning them around to display their triumphs. In doing so, Under Armour is inspiring women of all kind, celebrating female athletes and making its brand name synonymous with “success.” 

Though Under Armour is a billion dollar company, women’s apparel only account for 30% of total sales. As Under Armour has seen a demand for more women’s apparel in the 18 – 34 age range, it was necessary to create a new marketing technique that would reach out to and inspire this demographic. The “I Will What I Want” slogan and campaign aims to drive sales for Under Armour by offering strong, motivated women an alternative to the current fitness apparel options.

Along with the ad campaign, Under Armour is launching an app that is designed to track women’s fitness activities, recognizing the athletic success of all types of women. This app will take the successes of women such as Misty Copeland, Lindsey Vonn, Kelley O’Hara and Sloane Stephens and share them with the everyday woman, inspiring and encouraging females to pursue active and healthy lifestyles.

Under Armour’s campaign has undoubtedly made a splash in the fitness and apparel space and will continue to inspire women within all industries.

Erika Kauffman is the General Manager & Executive Vice President at 5W Public Relations. With over a decade of experience in communications and management at 5W, Erika is an integral part of the firm's leadership team and oversees a number of industry practices at the agency



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