Under Armour Showcases Sheer Strength and Dedication of the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team

Droga5's latest work for brand

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In case you weren't aware, the U.S. women's gymnastics team is comprised of some seriously tough young women. And Under Armour's latest ad shows just how talented and insanely strong they are, depicting gymnasts in a different light than viewers may be used to seeing them.

The new 90-second spot, which is part of Under Armour's "Rule Yourself" campaign, follows team members as they train in the early hours of the morning and late at night, all in preparation for this year's Summer Olympics in Rio.

Most of the women on the national team are under the age of 20, but rather than hanging out with friends, going to the movies or dating, they're perfecting their handstands, effortlessly climbing ropes and bending their bodies in ways that seem impossible. The tagline, "It's what you do in the dark that puts you in the light," aims to illustrate that these athletes will work day and night to prepare for battle.

"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 Under Armour svp of global brand marketing Adrienne Lofton in a statement. "By providing this peek behind the curtain of our athletes' 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." 

The spot, created by Droga5, is similar to previous work for the "Rule Yourself" campaign, which in the past has tapped celebrities including Misty Copeland and Stephen Curry. It once again focuses on the immense amount of training athletes put in every day and emphasizes their strength.

It's clear from watching gymnasts compete on TV that it takes a lot of skill and practice to fling their bodies between the uneven parallel bars or hold up their entire body weight on the balance beam, but during competitions, viewers see the gymnasts' perfected routines, the perfectly pinned-back hair and the sparkling leotards. What they don't see is what leads up to that: the late-night practices, long bus rides and ice packs strapped to ankles.

Another ad rolls out this week that features Dutch football star Memphis Depay. The campaign will culminate in March with a short film starring American swimmer Michael Phelps. 


Client: Under Armour

Campaign: It's What You Do In The Dark, That Puts You In The Light

Agency: Droga5 NY

Creative Chairman: David Droga

Chief Creative Officer: Ted Royer

Executive Creative Director: David Droga

Group Creative Director: Tim Gordon

Creative Director: Alexander Nowak, Felix Richter

Copywriter: Toby Treyer-Evans, Laurie Howell

Art Director: Toby Treyer-Evans, Laurie Howell 

Design Director: Cynthia Ratasbouth 

Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale

Head of Broadcast Production: Ben Davies

Executive Producer: Adam Perloff

Head of Interactive Production: Niklas Lindstrom

Head of Art Production: Cliff Lewis

Senior Art Producer: Julia Menassa

Senior Print Producer: Alyssa Dolman

Retouching Studio Manager: Michelle Leedy

Retouchers: John Ciambriello, Peter Gibson

Designers: Jennifer Lally, Tessa Modi

Head of Communications Strategy: Colleen Leddy

Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer

Head of Strategy: Chet Gulland

Group Strategy Director: Harry Roman

Brand Strategist: Candice Chen

Senior Communications Strategist: Hillary Heath

Group Account Director: Julian Cheevers

Account Director: Brian D'Entremont 

Account Manager: Jordan Cappadocia

Associate Account Manager: Scott Bubis

Project Manager: Courtney Kosup, Connor Hall

Client: Under Armour

CEO and Founder: Kevin Plank

CMO: Kip Fulks

SVP, Global Brand Marketing: Adrienne Lofton

SVP, Global Brand Creative: Steve Battista

VP, Global Creative and Design: Brian Boring

SVP, Global Brand Strategy: Rick Anguilla

Sr. Director, Global Brand Marketing: Jasmine Maietta

Director, Integrated Campaign Planning/Global Operations: Teresa Oles

SVP, Global Communications: Diane Pelkey

VP, Media: Steve Sommers

Production Company: Epoch Films

Director: Martin de Thurah

DOP: Kasper Tuxen

Executive Producer: Melissa Culligan

Producer: Michaela Johnson

Editorial: Stitch/Cartel

Editor: Leo Scott 

Post Production: Blacksmith

Sound Design: String and Tins / Q Department

Mixer/Sound Editing: Chris Afzal

Photographer: Thomas Prior

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.