Under Armour Goes Back To Its Roots With The Rock For ‘Motivational Marketing’
Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 05:53PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in Ad Campaigns, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, Under Armour, ad campaigns, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

April 19, 2018: Facing financial and retail challenges, Under Armour has gone back to its roots in athletic performance, unveiling a multi-media campaign, “Will Finds A Way” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

The effort, described as a year-long global training campaign, “showcases the importance of hard work, dedication and resilience,” according to the Baltimore-based firm.

Among other obstacles, Under Armour recently was passed by Puma for third in sales among athletic-brand companies, behind Nike and adidas, according to financial analysts.

“We are incredibly disappointed with our 2017 performance,” Kevin Plank, Under Armour CEO and founder, said during a year-end conference call with analysts and media.

None the less, Under Armour still reports sales in excess of $5 billion.

Led by Johnson — who has conquered the world of Hollywood with such recent films as Jumanji: Back to the Jungle and the current Rampage, and who has more than 173 million followers on social media — the new campaign uses his life as an example to show that “nothing is impossible with will.”

According to Adrienne Lofton, svp-global brand management for Under Armour, “Under Armour is passionate about driving with a performance lens in all that we do, spreading our core belief that training, along with mental fortitude, and sheer conviction, are the ultimate keys to success.

"The Under Armour team proudly refers to Dwayne Johnson as the 'Motivator of the Masses' and together we bring this campaign to the world in celebration of our fused belief that with the right amount of 'Will power,' all athletes — including the UA athletes featured alongside him in this campaign — can find their way to the top.”

Johnson shares examples of “beating all odds and becoming the person he is today by being the hardest worker in the room” — sharing how at one point he was down to $7 in his pocket until he decided to follow what is now the campaign’s mantra: “Will finds a way: When you put in the work, nothing can stop you.”

Johnson also oversees the stories of eight athletes described as trailblazing: world champion sprinter Natasha Hastings; Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini; NBA point guard Dennis Smith Jr.; actress & taekwondo national champion Zoe Zhang; world champion judoka Teddy Riner; stuntwoman Jessie Graff; triathlete Johnny Agar; and state boxing & gymnastics champion Javon "Wanna" Walton.  

The launch anthem commercial is supported by individual films of the eight athletes, Internet, digital and POP.

Lead agency is Droga5.

"Over the years, I've failed hard and had my dreams crushed, which inevitably put my back up against the wall,” Johnson — who has his own line of training shoes, gear and accessories with Under Armour, the UA Project Rock Collection — said in a statement.

“Through that struggle on my way back up, I've learned there's one undeniable constant to success, and that's to always be the hardest worker in the room . . .

"I’m honored to work alongside some of the most hard-working everyday women and men (and kids) for this campaign, all of which have risen to greatness through unwavering will, determination and being the hardest worker in the room."

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