Under Armour and The Rock Elevate a New Generation of Role Models With ‘Will Finds a Way’

A diverse roster of campaign stars, united by tenacity

Ambitious and relentless Taekwondo champion Zoe Zhang is currently an action film actor, 'but I might be something new by next year.'
Under Armour

Under Armour and Droga5 are back with a sprawling new campaign celebrating grit, ambition and the willingness to be the hardest-working person in the room.

The campaign, called “Will Finds a Way,” stars no fewer than eight athletes and inspiring fitness icons. Introducing this new generation of stars is the Most Electrifying Man in Sports, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, here stepping out of the spotlight a bit to help welcome fresh talent onto the global stage.

You might recognize some of the personalities, such as American Ninja Warrior star Jessie Graff or NBA point guard Dennis Smith Jr. Several have been featured by Under Armour in previous ads, including Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee and Olympic swimmer.

But most of the faces and stories will likely be new to you, with each compelling tale told through its own customized art direction and atmosphere, keeping the multi-part campaign from feeling repetitive.

First let’s check out the anthem spot, anchored by The Rock and directed by the Malloy Brothers, Emmett and Brandon Malloy:

Where the campaign truly shines, though, is in the breakout spots directed by Superprime’s Nathalie Canguilhem focused on each highly competitive and motivated athlete.

Zoe Zhang is a Chinese actress and martial arts star whose evolution is the only constant in her career and her life:

Fellow martial artist Jessie Graff, who drew global attention as the first woman to complete American Ninja Warrior’s grueling Stage 1 obstacle course, was featured in Under Armour’s “Unlike Any” campaign and is back, this time reflecting on her “failures” as an Olympic athlete and how she found a new path to glory:

Natasha Hastings is a world champion sprinter who evolved from shy stunt to ultra-glamorous track star. In her new “Will Finds a Way” clip, she discusses the character she created on the track and how she envisions success before her feet even leave the blocks:

Two-time Olympic Gold medalist and 10-time world champion Teddy Riner is a French judo star who, despite his dominance in the ring, can’t seem to stop smiling when he describes the mindset it takes to be at the top of the podium:

Dennis Smith Jr., point guard for the Dallas Mavericks, talks about how family and determination got him through the ACL tear that almost derailed his career before it even began:

Yusra Mardini isn’t even 21 yet and already has lived a life of tragedy, heroism and sheer determination. Escaping the Syrian conflict, she helped save the lives of her fellow refugees by swimming their boat to safety. She went on to be part of the storied Refugee Olympic Team and is now training to return to the Games in 2020.

At age 11, Javon Wanna Walton is already a state champion in both boxing and gymnastics. What he’ll accomplish before adulthood is anyone’s guess, but the one certainty is that this isn’t the last we’ll see of him:

Also featured in the anthem spot is Johnny Agar, a triathlete with cerebral palsy. He doesn’t have a standalone spot in the new campaign, but it’s certainly worth going back to this mashup video Under Armour published in his honor last year:

Under Armour says “Will Finds a Way” is a celebration of surmounting any obstacle, whether mental, physical or rooted in society’s expectations.

“The Under Armour team proudly refers to Dwayne Johnson as the ‘Motivator of the Masses,’ and together we bring this campaign to the world in celebration of our fused belief that with the right amount of will power, all athletes—including the UA athletes featured alongside him in this campaign—can find their way to the top,” says Adrienne Lofton, svp of global brand management for Under Armour. “Will defies expectations, beats all odds and propels greatness, and through our ‘Will Finds A Way’ campaign we are challenging the world to push beyond their physical and mental boundaries to manifest the best in themselves and those around them.”

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