New Balance’s ‘My Future Self’ Campaign Launches Sportswear Brand’s First New England Cricket Kit

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‘My Future Self’ is a global campaign from new England cricket kit partner New Balance which is built around promoting the values, convictions and experiences that have shaped a set of world-class endorser athletes such as Joe Root, Heather Watson and Callum Hawkins.


It centres on the self-improvement opportunities that elite athletes, amateurs and individuals face each day: ones that can help redefine personal ambitions and motivations and lead to a genuine sense of purpose.


The objective behind the brief is to raise New Balance awareness and consideration in the UK as the sportswear brand replaces Adidas as the official England and Wales Cricket Board kit sponsor.


Developed with agency BMB, this digital, social, video-on-demand and experiential activation, which will run for six months, also includes long-form films and shorter social videos with brand ambassadors like Root, Shona Vertue and Fran Halsall.


The new kits themselves were first introduced by an ECB and New Balance launch event which, as well as the usual PR push (centered on an unveiling at the company’s flagship Oxford Street store which saw the range modeled by England test captain Root) was also streamed on Facebook Live.


The reveal was initially socially teased on 2 May,




ahead of the main 3 May live launch.




The launch itself was further promoted with a digital/social film of the event.



This was accompanied by the campaign’s flagship launch film, ‘Dear 677’, which also debuted on 2 May and which is fronted by England cricket captain Root.


The numerical title refers to the fact that, at present, through its 140-year history only 676 people have ever played Test cricket for the England men’s team.


It is essentially an open letter from the current Test team to its next player and future generations of English cricket and includes the copy line ‘Greatness isn’t given… What would you tell yourself?’



The full copy reads:


Dear 677,
Whoever you might be.
This is England.
The home of cricket.
Forget what you’ve done before.
None of it matters.
We’ve taken wickets. Scored runs. Held catches.
But you, you’re on the first step of a staircase to greatness.
So start climbing.
Do that and you’ll be one of us.
We’ll teach you. Protect you. Guide and welcome you.
But what we can’t do is carry you.
So hear this.
Out run us, out bowl us, out work us.
Take our place in the team.
Because if you do that, we’ll win it all.
One day internationals.
Twenty twenty.
Being the best in the country’s one thing.
Being the best in the world is another.
Because one thing’s for sure…


The launch spot is amplified across the sportswear brand’s digital and social channels and assets are linked with the campaign’s #MyFutureSelf hashtag to encourage user engagement and aim to driver viewers to the brand’s digital campaign hub and sales platform at…


The supporting content is being distributed extensively across social media: with formats created and optimised for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.




Proud new sponsors of the England cricket teams.

Official match and training kit now available online and in store

— New Balance UK (@NewBalanceUK) May 2, 2017


Plus the campaign and the new kits themselves also benefit from further digital and social support across the ECB’s own channels too.



These assets also drive viewers to the ECB’s own digital purchasing platform at


As the campaign evolves over the next six months, further long- and short-form films feature other New Balance athlete ambassadors will be amplified and available on both on


The three flagship long-form films feature New Balance athletes Joe Root, Heather Watson and Callum Hawkins, while the shorter-form social content features fellow New Balance brand ambassadors Shona Vertue, Fran Halsall and Pennie Varvarides.


The first of these films to drop was a two-minute spot featuring Root called ‘Joe Root: The moment you think you’ve made it…you’re finished’.



“These films are more than just a series of videos. These are human inspiration stories. They capture the values, convictions and experiences that have shaped our athletes into who they are and they act as a powerful reminder when faced with adversity,” explains New Balance UK Brand Marketing Manager Samantha Matthews


“We want these films to inspire the imagination of our audience to define their own ambitions, share their aspirations and pursue a better version of their present selves.”


Jules Chalkey, Chief Creative Officer at BMB Agency adds: “Launching New Balance’s new relationship with the England Cricket Board has been an exciting opportunity and New Balance is promoting an exciting future for English cricket: ‘Dear 677’ is an ode to this future. The future of the game doesn’t just exist inside Lords. It exists in the young talent trying to push its way in; the players on the streets up and down the land, in alleys, and on makeshift pitches and patches of ground.”


“We wanted to capture cricket in a fresh light with an energy and drive that celebrates every player in every part of the game. And what’s most exciting is that this is only beginning of an exciting six-month campaign,” continued Jules.


In addition to Chalkley, the BMB team on the project includes executive digital director Ben Lunt, while creatives Pete Ioulianou and Ollie Agius created the film, with further input from business director Farah Winning, head of TV James Bolton and agency producer Jonathan Saunders.


The campaign photographer was Dean Martindale, the director was Jack Driscoll and the production company was Park Village. The producer was Joe Walker, the editors at TenThree were Billy Mead and Liam Backler at Tenthree, post production was handled by Mill/BMB, sound design by Dugal Macdiarmid at Wave and the DoP was Patrick Mellor


Activative Comment:


The ‘My Future Self’ idea reminds us of a similar theme used by Gatorade’s Rio 2016 Olympic ambassador-led ambush initiative which was called ‘Love Of Sport’ and saw athlete endorsers such as Serena Williams, Usian Bolt, Paul George and April Ross visited and motivated by their younger selves (see case study).


It is also worth comparing and contrasting New Balance’s ECB kit launch campaign with its work for Cricket South Africa (CSA), by agency Levergy, which has ranged from the emotionally charged ‘Feel The Fire’ kit launch (see case study), to more recent initiatives such as ‘Training Day’ (see case study).


As for the kits themselves, well England may be trying to deliver on a promise to play a positive, attacking modern style under new captain Root, but the new kit is something of a stylish throwback to the past.


New Balance’s new Test, One-Day and Twenty20 kits see a return for the traditional cable knit cream sweater worn by England captains through the generations with the three lions restored to its former classic central position.


The classic cricket cable knit was dropped back in 2008 when kit supplier Adidas switched to a brilliant-white sweater (unsurprisingly and inevitably upsetting some of the game’s traditionalists).


But New Balance are returning the kit to its roots (no pun intended).


“It’s as traditional as it gets, isn’t it, it’s what Test cricket is about,” said Root.


“The guys in 2005 who won the Ashes wore the old cable knit jumper and there are some great iconic moments in English cricket that are associated with clothes like this so hopefully there will be many more in the future. It feels like I’m a kid again, playing my first couple of games. It’s like my first woollen jumper my grandma knitted me so it takes it all back to the beginning and it’s a nice way to remind yourself that even though there are times when we’re under a lot of pressure it’s a game we enjoy playing. We have to embrace the occasion, go out and enjoy it.”


England will wear a blue kit in 50-over cricket and a red and blue hooped shirt in Twenty20 matches and the new range will be worn for the first time on Friday 5 May when England start their international summer with two one-day internationals against Ireland.


The American sportswear company inked its new five-year deal with the ECB, reported to be worth around £2m annually, last year after Adidas seemingly reduced its prioritisation and valuation of its cricket strategy after signing its gargantuan £10m per season contract with Manchester United (see our ‘Football Kit Launch Campaign’ Briefing Report).


New Balance already had sponsorship deals in place with England cricket stars Root and Ben Stokes.


Fran Allen, New Balance’s vice-president for the EMEA region, said when the deal was announced in early April: “The new relationship signals our strong commitment to the sport, in all formats, and at a formative moment as the game looks forward to enhancing its popularity and appeal across an even broader audience. At the same time, this arrangement stands to underpin New Balance’s position as a leading global sporting brand.”


While ECB commercial director, Sanjay Patel, added: “This relationship will form part of our broader strategy to grow the game at every level. It’s a great opportunity for us to work closely with a leading global brand, delivering promotional campaigns which will help cricket reach out to new audiences and achieve even greater exposure as a sport, while connecting with fans across the country.”


But a word of warning: even in this digital age the skills of an experienced copy writer and editor are still vital.


After all, this campaign was criticised by some fans and some on the media because the core content piece, the letter plotted in free verse, has been branded by some as “cringeworthy” and “vacuous” and criticised by others for containing multiple grammatical errors.


It even includes a line saying that the next star of the England team must embark on a journey up a “never-ending flight of stairs” to reach success and has been critiqued and edited by one fan who seems to love his red editing pen just as much as his cricket.





New Balance…









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