Under Armour hopes latest athlete-focused campaign will help it differentiate from rivals

Under Armour has unveiled the next phase of its athlete-focused ‘Rule Yourself’ campaign as the sports brand aims to focus on the behind-the-scenes training of sports stars to differentiate from its rival’s marketing.

The campaign’s two new TV ads prominently feature the ‘It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light’ slogan and show Manchester United star Memphis Depay and members of the USA gynmanastics women’s team in deep training.

The campaign, created by Droga5, will also be supported by social-first content including a short film featuring world championship US swimmer Michael Phelps that will launch in March.

“As a company built by athletes, we truly understand an athlete’s never-ending quest to reach greatness and we want to showcase and honor their sacrifices,” said Adrienne Lofton, senior VP of global brand marketing at Under Armour.

“By providing this peek behind the curtain of our athlete’s lives, we hope to inspire young athletes all over the world to push beyond their perceived limitations in order to achieve their ultimate goals. We truly believe it’s what athletes do in the dark, when no one is watching, that ultimately puts them in the spotlight they deserve.”

Under Armour, which is now a bigger player in the US market than rival Adidas, is pushing the notion of JOMO (‘the joy of missing out’) within the ‘Rule Yourself’ campaign and will also promote its personal fitness monitoring app UA Record.

Over recent years, Under Armour has made a big play into the tech space. Along with the UA Record app, which was launched last year to rival Nike+, it is also making a push into the wearables space. A family of Under Armour wearable devices, created in partnership with HTC under the new sub-brand HealthBox, is set to launch later this year. The LED-display fitness bands will offer all the usual fitness band features such as heart rate tracking and phone notifications.

Lofton added: “From the original performance-driven sweat-wicking t-shirt to the introduction of Under Armour HealthBox and the roster of world class athletes who are members of the Under Armour family today, the brand’s goal has remained the same: to make all athletes better.”

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