Welsh International Rugby Union star Jamie Roberts (fresh from his Grand Slam triumph) and mixed martial artist Chloe Bruce face off in the unlikely ‘new battle’ in the first TVC in Under Armour’s first ever pan European marketing campaign.
The US sportswear and sports equipment brand is targeting European athletes and consumers from 28 March in a rare marketing venture outside the USA.
In tandem with its advertising agency Make Amsterdam, this first EMEA piece of brand marketing includes TV work, press and outdoor executions, in-store, online and social media such as a live feed on a campaign specific page at www.facebook.com/newbattles as well as the brand’s YouTube channel.
The creative idea sees key Under Armour sponsored athletes matched with opponents from dramatically different disciplines. The objective behind this approach is ostensibly challenge athletes to learn new skills, arming them for future battles.
This creative centre around real training “battles” pitting Under Armour athletes against unexpected opponents kicks off with Roberts vs Brucein in a high intensity training session, but will expand to include other stars such as QPR’s Bobby Zamora.
Other already established Under Armour endorsers to feature in the campaign will include US stars such as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn.
Of course, the underlying subtext is to challenge traditional presumptions about adidas, Nike and Reebok being the dominant forces in the sector. And to encourage consumers to think about fresh, alternative brands – specifically Under Armour.
This is the first wave in a year-long continual engagement campaign that is called “New Battles. New Armour.”
Following the initial launch, the campaign will also include a branded-content series on MTV called New Battles, New Armour.
The campaign will introduce the company’s Charged Cotton, coldblack and Armour Bra collections to European athletes.
The campaign will run in England, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Benelux, Nordics, Eastern Europe, Poland, Spain, Italy, Greece and Israel.
The Baltimore sportswear maker is aiming to grow market share overseas and challenge rivals Nike and Adidas’ dominant presence.
Indeed, of its $1.5bn annual turnover in 2011 only 6& came from countries outside the USA.
This campaign, in tandem with other moves such as its five-year deal to become the official kit supplier for Tottenham Hotspur FC next season, shows that the brand is determined to increase overseas revenue.
Football will be a major area of focus in 2012 and beyond. Indeed, itIt was actually back in 2009 that the US sports clothing brand unveiled its first football kit in Europe and promoted this with the launch of a UK-based interactive advertising campaign and a range of video documentaries at www.underarmour.com/ua11.