As you may well know, we are big fans of Under Armour around here and we were thrilled when fellow Scotsman Andy Murray penned a £15 million contract with the brand. The 2013 Wimbledon champion needs no introduction around these parts, however Under Armour’s diverse range of Athletes are not all household names in the UK and may require a bit more of an introduction, but more on that later.
First a little more on Murray’s incredible deal, which is rumoured to be heavily linked to his on-court performance. As part of the 4-year partnership, Murray will wear Under Armour apparel, footwear, and accessories and will be featured across marketing campaigns for the American sportswear giant. Incidentally, Under Armour has just overtaken Adidas to take its place as the second biggest sportswear company in the USA.
Andy stated through his website, “I am very honoured and excited to be joining Team Under Armour and to help them tell their story globally. They are committed to providing innovative apparel, accessories, and footwear, with an unmatched focus on training and performance.”
The admiration seems to be mutual as Under Armour’s director of golf and tennis, former NFL player, Ryan Kuehl stated:
“We look at ourselves as underdogs. We relish that role, it gives you that chip on your shoulder to keep charging. We’ve been fighting against some strong competitors, the likes of Nike, but we just keep our head down and keep treating people the right way. Andy falls into that mould. He is a fiery guy who loves to compete, and we love that about him. We expect a lot of ourselves, too.
"I’ve spent a little time around him. He is a performer who is capable of winning Grand Slams – he can do it and do it many times over. Combining our brand with his fitness and his talent, we feel we can help him get to another level.”
The only snag with Andy Murray is that he is thought to be the fussiest player on tour with regards to his shoes. Apparel is the easy part of the equation but getting footwear right for the individual can be a far more arduous process. After years of ankle and knee problems, he has been wearing custom Adidas tennis shoes for recent years and it is thought he will continue to wear these for the coming months, until Under Armour complete the tedious process of coming up with their own custom made shoe for Murray.
Now, on to the UA roster – we’re sure you’ll be more than familiar with Under Armour's Welsh Rugbyquartet of Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny, Taulupe Faletau and Dan Lydiate so we’ll focus on some of UA’s more diverse athletes.
Michael Phelps – the American swimmer is the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 22 medals. Given he only wears trunks in the pool, he is not the most obvious of choices to be adorned in Under Armour. However Phelps is known for being a relentlessly hard trainer which fits in well with Under Armour, as well as being from Baltimore, where the international headquarters of Under Armour reside at Tide Point.
Jordan Spieth – is an American professional golfer on the PGA tour. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas he was picked up by Under Armour in January 2013, at the age of just 19 after a hugely successful amateur career on a par with one Tiger Woods. In 2014, Spieth became the youngest runner up in Masters history at 19. He is regularly seen sporting Under Armour golf shoes which have not yet made it to the marketplace – rumours are we’ll see them in Spring/Summer 2016.
Misty Copeland – was raised in San Pedro, Los Angeles and is a professional Ballet dancer for the American Ballet Theatre. She unusually only took up ballet at the age of 13 which is regarded as relatively late. Copeland also considers being an author and entertainer amongst her talents. Copeland was signed up by Under Armour in early 2014 on a contract which is rumoured to be more lucrative than her ballet itself. The subsequent advert campaign “I Will What I Want” was recognised by Adweek as “The year's best campaign targeting women” and was in their overall top 10 for 2014.
Cameron Newton – is an American Football quarterback with the Carolina Panthers in the NFL. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia and has grown into a colossal athlete, standing at 6 ft 5in and weighing in at healthy 111kg. The 2011 Rookie of the Year has far too many firsts and accolades to his name to note here and will surely only go on to smash more records as he matures. Cam - as he is known - even has his own range of Under Armour apparel with his own branding, but you'll need to book a flight to the States to get your hands on that gear.
Lindsey Vonn – the most successful American ski racer in history. Vonn incredibly is one of only six women to have won World Cup races in all five disciplines of alpine skiing – downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and super combined. She has won 61 World Cup races in her career and has an Olympic Gold medal to her name, all whist battling some horrific injuries. Her right knee has been reconstructed twice and Vonn was quoted after pulling out of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics - “I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level.”
Our final athlete in the Under Armour stable is Giselle Bündchen – the Brazilian is famous for being a fashion Supermodel on the world’s catwalks although she is also known for her role as an actress and producer. Notably, she is also a keen supporter of charity and backs Save the Children, the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders amongst others. What seems like an unusual hook up for Under Armour all becomes clear, firstly she married fellow UA Athlete Tom Brady in 2009 and secondly, wait till you see her train!
As with any world-renowned brand, there are many more sponsored athletes we haven't mentioned in detail, from Tom Brady and George St-Pierre to Michael Dawson and Bobby Zamora, along with sides such as Tottenham Hotspurs in the Barclays Premier League and Wales and Canada international rugby teams. Who would you like to see proclaiming "I WILL" next? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter using the links below.