By Barry Janoff
November 17, 2016: Earlier this month, to coincide with Veteran’s Day, Under Armour unveiled a line of apparel and accessories that focused on spokesman Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s long-time efforts to support the men and women in America’s Armed Forces.
According to Johnson, the UA Freedom x Project Rock Rock the Troops collection has already exceeded all expectations.
"Huge news: You've made our Rock The Troops collection not only Under Armour's No. 1 seller but you've also made it the fastest-selling athlete apparel line of its kind,” Johnson wrote on his Facebook page.
"In the world of business this is very big, considering I'm new to the apparel game. Yet with every new drop we continue to '‘move the needle,' make (a) big impact and show tremendous growth," he wrote.
Sales figures were not disclosed.
Johnson, who this week was dubbed "The Sexiest Man Alive" by People Magazine, signed with Under Armour in October 2015, which came with the goal to bring to consumers "innovative and bad-ass products that inspire men, women and kids to stay hungry, humble and always be the hardest workers in the room."
The initial Rock the Troops line, which falls under the umbrella Project Rock collection that he launched in March with Under Armour, includes T-shirts (men, women and kids), hats, duffle bags and backpacks. New items are en route. All include Johnson’s signature Brahama bull logo, in this collection featuring a stars-and-stripes design.
Due in 2017 are Rock Deltas, Johnson’s first signature shoe for Under Armour, which he called "one of the greatest training shoes ever made."
"The big one you keep asking about is coming in 2017 — Rock Deltas," Johnson wrote on his Facebook page. "They are what we anticipate being one of the greatest training shoes ever made. They better be at least, ‘cause I've been working out and testing my shoe's new technology for over a damn year now."
Johnson said that he has been wearing prototypes of the shoe "every day . . . to make sure they perform up to my standards.”
Johnson and Under Armour will support with a multi-platform marketing campaign.
"But before those drops next year, I want to say thank-you for making this very special Rock The Troops collection a huge success already," wrote Johnson.
"And a huge shout out and thank you Dick’s Sporting Goods across the country for being such incredible partners for us."
Earlier this year, Under Armour released a limited-edition Project Rock travel bag, which Johnson said "sold out in record time."
A second limited-edition travel bag was unveiled this month to remember the 75th anniversary of the battle at Pearl Harbor (Dec. 7, 1941) and to "honor and commemorate those soldiers who fought so bravely," Johnson wrote.
In addition to its alliance with Johnson, Under Armour works with numerous military and veterans programs, including Wounded Warriors and the USO. It also offers a 10% discount to active duty service members, veterans and first responders on its e-Web site and in all Under Armour Stores. (Details here.)
Johnson hosted a free Rock the Troops concert Oct. 22 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Hawaii, which attracted 45,000 members of the military, family, friends and others and featured such stars as Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Nick Jonas. The concert, which included an abundance of Under Armour Rock the Troops gear, is scheduled to air on Spike on Dec. 13.
Johnson’s endorsement deals from UA, Ford (for which he is shooting a new campaign in December) and elsewhere bring in $50 million annually. On-screen, he is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, taking in some $64.5 million over the past year from his movie roles, according to Forbes.
"With every new drop we continue to '‘move the needle,' make (a) big impact and show tremendous growth."
Moana, an animated film from Disney in which he voices Maui, one of the lead characters, hits theaters Nov. 23. His upcoming movies also include a reboot of Jumanji, Fast 8 and Baywatch; and he stars in HBO’s Ballers.
He also has numerous projects under his Seven Bucks Productions, including Clash of the Corps, a reality-based competition among top drum corp groups, that has been airing on Fuse.
In addition, Johnson, who starred for WWE from 1996-2004, is scheduled to appear at WWE’s WrestleMania 33, scheduled for April 2 in the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
Under Armour’s endorsement roster also includes Andy Murray, Michael Phelps, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Jordan Spieth, Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, Bryce Harper, Lindsey Vonn, Sloane Stephens and Misty Copeland, principal ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre.
The Rock Joins Curry, Brady, Newton, Phelps At Under Armour
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