Under Armour Embraces Body Positivity for Women

In early August of this year Under Armour released its largest ever campaign for women entitled “I Will What I Want”. The brand that normally targets men has launched the new $15 million dollar campaign for women hoping to draw customers from popular competitors like Nike and Lulu Lemon according to Time Magazine. They are using a variety of female athletes like Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn and pro soccer player Kelley O’Hara as well as more non-traditional athletes like ballerina Misty Copeland, model Gisele Bundchen and pro surfer Brianna Cope. Using both traditional and non-traditional athletes, the brand will target not just on-field athletes as they have before, but also to appeal to a broader audience of women involved in yoga and pilates with its new line of studio sportswear.

            The main goal of the campaign is to sell through women’s empowerment. With its premiere ad featuring American Ballet Soloist, Misty Copeland it narrates a hypothetical rejection letter depicting how Misty has the wrong body type for ballet. Yet as the commercial shows her raw power and ability it is clear she has overcome the stereotypes to embrace her body and achieve her dreams. This is then stated in the description of the “I Will What I Want” campaign on the website saying, “It’s a reminder that you don’t need permission, advice, or affirmation when you have WILL. It’s a celebration of who you are. As an athlete. As a woman. As everything in between and beyond.” Under Armour decides to sell based on empowering women to embrace their body. In times like these it seems we all have at some time or other received a “rejection letter” commenting on how we look according to Misty Copeland and TIME magazine. Even the CEO of Competitor Lulu Lemon made controversial comments about the ideal body of their female customers. With Lulu Lemon sales at a low from such comments and the recall of their see through yoga leggings, Under Armour is taking advantage and launching their counteractive body positivity campaign. Yet they are still risking a lot by spending unprecedented amounts for the company especially when less than 30% of their revenue comes from women’s sales. But with over 4 million views of the Misty Copeland commercial in just one week and countless appraisals from consumers and the media it seems they are well on their way to success.


4 thoughts on “Under Armour Embraces Body Positivity for Women

  1. This is a brilliant commercial. Women are rarely targeted by sporting goods companies, and they are huge consumers of these products. It will be interesting to see if sales increase.


  2. I think this is an interesting strategy as it targets women from many genres of sport. In addition to this, the athletic wear appears similar in style to its competitors like Nike and Lulu Lemon. It will be interesting to see how the competition shifts and how these commercials are received by women. Are they expanding the campaign to include any celebrities that are average in size? Or simply regular women wanting to be fit?


  3. I just checked out the Under Armour site to see their prices for women’s athletic gear. Many of the clothing items are half of what Lululemon charges. I think the cheaper prices paired with their tough-girl empowerment campaign will come together very successfully for the company!


  4. Recently, Free People put out an ad of a “ballerina” to promote their version of athletic wear. The advertisement caused an uproar in the dance community because the Free People model clearly was not a dance expert, and fit the body image the brand was going for moreso than executed maneuvers well. I think Under Armour really got it right by focusing on the sport than the specific individual and their image.


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