Under Armour is well known for involving its star endorsers in the development of its products and marketing. Now, the performance sports apparel brand has taken the approach to a new level, with Cam Newton serving as creative director on the campaign for his C1N shoe, including a digital film from his production company, Iconic Saga.
The campaign uses the tagline “Ferocity Meets Artistry,” which is intended to capture both the Carolina Panthers quarterback’s fierce approach to football and his stylish, entrepreneurial side off the field.
“Ferocity reflects the hard work that goes into improvement and striving for success. It is never easy and not glamorous,” Newton told AdFreak. “Artistry is the confidence to remain true to yourself under all circumstances. To be beautifully you. The C1N shoe transitions between both of these worlds. The hard work of training and preparing for competition. And the boldness of lifestyle and fashion. It is a reflection of the different shades of my personality on and off the field.”
The campaign launch has included a digital film that ran on Newton and UA’s Instagram accounts. Titled “ATL,” it was written by Newton and is meant to highlight his passion for his hometown of Atlanta—including the city’s “trailblazing mentality and unique local culture that influences my personality and style,” he says.
See the spot here:
“We really wanted convey that hard work is required to elevate, but it also important to have fun and stay true to yourself while putting in the hard work. The kids in the film are the next generation of Cam Newtons, or better, and I felt like it was important to include that perspective as well,” Newton says.
“This shoe has my name on it, and I felt very strongly that I wanted it to be a clear reflection of who I am. I wanted it to be something I would love wearing. And I wanted the advertising and marketing behind it to reflect exactly who I am. This was not just about marketing, but it was also very personal.”
Newton said there was a mutual respect between him and UA team during the development of the creative.
“They allowed me to produce the creative and be the creative director for the overall campaign, which was an exciting challenge,” he said. “I think it is fair to say that we collectively came up with a vision and trusted each other in exploring new territory.”
UA and Newton also hosted a day of events in Atlanta for the debut of the C1N, launching the first colorway “Hometown.” More than 350 kids from local Atlanta Boys and Girls Clubs came to to Skyline Park for “C1Nival,” a carnival with games, food, music and entertainment. UA and Newton also hosted a launch party at the West Side Cultural Arts Center, with a #SECRETWALLS art battle and a performance by 2Chainz.
Newton is a WME client, represented by Carlos Flemming, and the events were co-managed and co-produced by WME | IMG’s experiential marketing group, IMG Live, based in Atlanta. (IMG’s strategic communications group, Catalyst, UA’s agency of record for nine years, is also collaborating with UA on influencer relations and PR activation.)
“Our C1Nival idea was rooted in Cam’s memories of the good times he had growing up in Atlanta—specifically, going to the city’s fair with his friends—and weaving ‘Ferocity Meets Artistry’ into every touch point,” said Bryan Icenhower, president of IMG Live. “Our team reimagined the fair by bringing the style and swagger that only Cam exudes, and incorporated that into the various activities and elements of C1Nival.”
See more photos from the day’s event below.