For a pro athlete, the intense scrutiny and high expectations that comes with fame can paint a one-dimensional picture of them as a person. The media and fans are eager to dub so many sports figures as the playboy, the trash-talker, the clutch-player, the hard-worker–and whether good or bad, a single label undermines the many facets of an individual. Since joining the NFL Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been cast with a superman image, one that expects only the greatest and forgives few missteps.
“Huddle Up,” a new content series from sportswear company Under Armour, digs well beyond the singular image of Newton and over the course of five episodes will offer a more complete look at the man behind the athlete.
For Under Armour the goal of the series is to “create stories that inspire athletes,” according to company VP of creative Brian Boring. “The content series format gives us an opportunity to tell a deeper story through the voice of an athlete, specifically in this case, football players. This is what football players expect from Under Armour.”
The series starts after a disappointing end of season for the Panthers with Newton reflecting on a challenging 2013 run. Directed by Greenlight Studios’ Grant James, the series follows Newton over the course of six months up until he gets ready for NFL training camp in August, including finishing his college degree, recovering from surgery, and working with kids at his 7X7 camps.
Dominic Sandifer, president, GreenLight Media and Marketing says that “Huddle Up” is a story of an athlete’s will. “[We] set out to tell a story of an athlete’s journey and his will along that path, rather than one of an athlete as hero. We certainly set out with a story and episode arc that we wanted to capture, but Cam quickly took control of his own narrative and worked closely with Grant and our creative team to ensure that the real story of who he is be told as he prepared for his next season–and his life. What we see emerge is not the Superman façade we’ve been sold, but instead a real man, a real leader, and a real athlete that everyone will be watching closely this year,” Sandifer adds.
Adds Boring: “His ability to will the win has been well documented on the field. However, the story of Cam Newton as a man and as a leader has not been told. That is why we teamed up with Cam. His love and dedication to the game of football will inspire football players, frankly all athletes, in all aspects of their lives–both on and off the field.”