Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful Digital Experience


Under Armour has launched its biggest ever female-focused campaign in the form of a challenge to define the female athlete – “What’s Beautiful?’.


The US sports and performance apparel and accessories brand, along with agencies with Red Tettemer + Partners and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, have devised a combined digital experience and physical competition.


The campaign fulcrum is a social media contest that provides women with an online community which aims to help support them to meet and exceed their physical goals through a series of training challenges. ‘What’s Beautiful’ is being hosted hosted on a microsite, www.whatsbeautiful.ua.com and a mobile app.


Through the microsite, women will be encouraged to declare a goal that challenges their personal fitness and athletic aspirations and post proof of their progress in the form of videos, photos, and diary entries.


Under Armour will advance each woman’s personal goal by testing participants with 19 UA challenges and providing competitors with special motivational content from guest trainers, shout outs from UA athletes, gear giveaways, and the latest news from Under Armour on the “What’s Beautiful” community homepage.



The campaign also includes 60- and 30-second digital spots, as well as online media, and elements across Under Armour Women’s social media channels.


After nine weeks, Under Armour will nominate 10 finalists based on the strength, drive, and determination highlighted in their stories and original content submissions to be featured on the What’s Beautiful homepage and mobile app.



Ultimately, three winners will be named – two by Under Armour selection and one by public.


The three women who win the challenge will receive a one year sponsorship deal with Under Armour.


The brand will aim to transform the winners’ lives with access to special events, training with UA celebrity trainers, equipment for a year featuring the latest Under Armour products, nutritionist consultation and support, and inclusion in Under Armour Women’s marketing efforts.


The remaining finalists will earn an ongoing spot on the Under Armour Women’s Ambassador Team. They will receive $1,000 worth of the latest in Under Armour gear and serve as part of Under Armour’s elite advisory group, providing feedback on key products and helping define the face of the Under Armour Women’s brand.


“Women should be the ones to tell society what it means to be a female athlete and beautiful,” said Adrienne Lofton Shaw, Senior Director, Women’s Marketing, Under Armour. “The ‘What’s Beautiful’ experience offers a platform, community, and competition for our female fans to redefine the word ‘beauty’ by showcasing, honouring, and celebrating their hard work.”




There is something of a trend developing for everyday/everyman sponsorships – from Giant’s ‘Real Riders’ to Miller High Life’s ‘Proud Sponsors of you’.


Perhaps these are a reaction to the over commercialisation of professional sports and the poor behaviour of so many star athlete endorsers?


Either way, in this era of consumer control and consumer creation, this is a smart move to focus on real people (as well as celebrities). After all, research suggests that while consumers are increasingly reluctant to believe messages from brands and corporate spokespeople, they are increasingly likely to engage with and believe ‘people like them’.


This innovative ‘challenge’ campaign has the added weight and substance of supporting a wider ‘cause’ that appeals to a huge number of women.


By using social media and digital channels the brand ensure that this campaign crosses borders and can engage across multiple markets. Something essential after last month’s launch of its first major European ad campaign. See previous post.










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