By Barry Janoff
July 12, 2016: Bryce Harper, one of baseball's best players, is embellishing his role as one of MLB's most marketable via a new campaign from Under Armour, which will use the multi-media effort to support the release of its Harper One signature cleats — the first for the brand and the player — and Under Armour Running.
The campaign, with the tag, “It Comes From Below," will expand this fall to include NFL quarterback Cam Newton.
According to Under Armour, "The multi-sport campaign featuring Bryce Harper, Cam Newton and Under Armour Running shows that every great sporting moment starts with the feet — and that strong footwork, while often overlooked, provides the foundation to defy expectations and achieve athletic excellence."
Under Armour said that Harper would continue to appear in marketing for his signature shoe as well as campaigns for its training and lifestyle products and its Connected Fitness platforms.
According to Peter Murray, vp-global sports marketing for Under Armour, “Bryce embodies our brand’s founding philosophy of ‘aggressive, young and fearless,’ and we look forward to continuing to aid in his upward progression in the sport of baseball."
Harper also has endorsement alliances that include Gatorade and New Era.
Earlier this month, a new spot for Jaguar's F-Pace SUV with Harper, "The Journey," broke nationally.
In May, he signed a new ten-year deal with Under Armour, which he signed with in 2011.
Harper's spot, "Numbers," with a voiceover from his Las Vegas High School coach, Sam Thomas, shows how numbers "have put pressure on Harper throughout his career."
"Baseball is a number's game," says Thomas to open the Under Armour commercial.
In the ad, Harper is seen working out in an empty ballpark as visual representations of baseball-related numbers splash across the screen.
They include stadium section and seat numbers, scoreboards, his No. 34 Washington Nationals uniform, some of Harper's person stats to date (hitting a 570-foot home run at age 15. drafted No. 1 overall in 2010, his on-base percentage, the fact that he received 30 out of 30 MVP votes last season, being a four-time All-Star, including this year) and even a reference to his MLB contract.
The spot ends with a shot of Harper’s feet digging in near home plate, "illustrating that in a sport dominated by numbers, Harper’s success is rooted not in stats, but in his foundation of skilled footwork in the batter’s box," per Under Armour.
Thomas' voiceover then says, "Kid, just remember, no number sounds as good as this," as Harper swings and we hear the ball bursting off the bat. (See the full spot here.)
Both the Harper One Platinum and Harper One Black/Gold drop this week.
(Editor's note: Under Armour said that the first release of Harper One Black/Gold sold out in one day.)
"Under Armour has been one of my biggest advocates since I began my professional journey, and I can't wait to share what's next with the fans," Harper said in statement.
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