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Volume 27 No. 10
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Under Armour Hopes New Campaign With Star Athletes Boosts U.S. Sales

Under Armour has unveiled a new brand campaign with a theme of "overcoming adversity, debuting 'The Only Way Is Through' during a summit of athletes, trainers, social media 'influencers' and others from around the world," according to Lorraine Mirabella of the BALTIMORE SUN. The campaign launched yesterday in Baltimore and features some of the biggest names in UA's "roster of athletes," including Stephen Curry, Tom Brady, Michael Phelps and USWNT D Kelley O'Hara. Phelps "helped kick off the campaign" yesterday on stage and was followed by three more UA athletes, including Lindsey Vonn, Bryce Harper and U.S. sprinter Natasha Hastings. Each athlete "described how the new campaign related to their lives." UA President & CEO Patrik Frisk said that the brand has been "working on the campaign for six months, including testing the message with consumers." Mirabella notes UA has been "struggling for several years to boost sluggish sales," particularly in the U.S. -- its "largest market." UA used this week's "so-called 'Human Performance Summit' to launch the brand campaign along with products and technologies coming out this year." The company "invited 175 people to the summit from around the world" (BALTIMORE SUN, 1/15). UA said that throughout '20, it will release more content that will tell the stories of athletes "exploring their 'through' moments" (FOORWEARNEWS.com, 1/14).

ONE VISION: UA Founder & Chair Kevin Plank said that to "bring its retail vision to life," the company has been "on a journey to discover who its consumer is and identifying their needs." Plank calls UA's ideal customer a "focus performer." Plank said that the journey has led to UA "thinking of itself as a 'human performance company.'" Plank: "The world doesn't need another capable apparel and footwear manufacturer; they need a dream, a hope, and that's the positioning, that's where our respects play." On UA's line of HovR platform and smart shoes that can track distance, cadence and more without a smartphone, Plank said, "Innovation is at the heart and soul of everything we do." Alcantara notes another piece of technology is UA's "foray into designing spacewear for Virgin Galactic." Plank said that creating these products is part of UA's "bigger vision to help the world 'dream' and think about something larger than life" (ADWEEK.com 1/15).