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An Unlikely Ballerina Becomes An Ideal Athlete In New Campaign For Under Armour

In Under Armour’s new campaign, the athletic brand taps ballerina Misty Copeland’s story of adversity.

The traditional definition of a jock has never really featured a tutu. Athletic brand Under Armour’s advertising has largely featured athletes playing football, soccer, and baseball, or running track. But its newest ad, part of a $15 million campaign aimed at women, stars ballerina Misty Copeland and shows that ballet requires at least as much strength, grit and determination as the other, more typical sports-brand sports.

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We meet Copeland as she shows off some serious strength and agility, and a voiceover repeats a variety of criticism she heard as a young ballerina–wrong this, not enough that–until we find out she’s now a soloist for the American Ballet Theatre.

It’s a classic sports underdog story as told through a non-traditional athlete. And there’s not a tutu in sight.


The “I Will What I Want” campaign, from agency Droga5, also features skier Lindsey Vohn, U.S. national soccer player Kelley O’Hara and tennis star Sloane Stephens.

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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