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Manchester United’s Memphis Depay Slays Some Giants For Under Armour

The brand keeps playing the underdog in its first-ever global football campaign.

Compared to rivals like Nike and Adidas, Under Armour is a rookie when it comes to global football. But given its overall brand strategy, that’s exactly where it wants to be. After making inroads into the $8 billion market over the last few years, Under Armour is launching its first-ever marketing campaign for the sport.

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The Slay Your Next Giant campaign, by agency Droga5, features 21-year-old Holland and Manchester United star Memphis Depay, Tottenham Hotspur’s 17-year-old American academy star Cameron Carter-Vickers, as well as young up-and-coming players from Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and the UK. The spot follows players, from youngsters as young as seven up to Carter-Vickers and Depay, as they get ready to test their mettle against tough competition.

It taps a familiar underdog mentality, and the tagline might as well be a rallying cry for the brand itself. Even though it now sponsors teams like Tottenham Hotspur and Brazil’s São Paulo, it faces an uphill battle against brands with deeper ties to the game. But that’s a position Under Armour has played before. As senior vice president of global brand marketing Adrienne Lofton recently told Co.Create, “What separates us from the clutter is this blue-collar work ethic. We’re an underdog brand. . . . We pick that athlete with a chip on their shoulder and their desire to win because it aligns with our own attitude.”

Under Armour’s vice president of global sports marketing Peter Murray says the campaign does embody the spirit of the brand. “Slay Your Next Giant is about the hard work it takes to overcome challenges in a player’s journey to success–it’s not about the prize, it’s about the journey,” says Murray. “Just like this campaign, Under Armour is relentless when it comes to getting better and achieving new heights. We don’t back down from a challenge and will slay our giants, one by one. With the launch of Slay Your Next Giant, we’re bringing our distinct and disruptive voice to global football, infused with Under Armour’s training DNA.”

While the ad cuts quickly from Depay to the other young players, the campaign site allows you to control which players you watch, or to scroll from seven-year-old Thomas in the UK, to nine-year-old Oswaldo in Mexico, to 11-year-old Eduardo in Chile, to 14-year-old Brazilian Adriano, then Carter-Vickers and Depay.

Upcoming storylines in the campaign will feature Jermaine Jones of the U.S. national team and MLS’s New England Revolution; Oswaldo Alanís and Jesús Corona of the Mexican national team; and Gonzalo Fierro of Colo-Colo in Chile.

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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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