So I covered what sparked my interest in public relations in my last blog post, but I want to take a minute to talk about the ad campaign that ignited my interest in branding in sports. The emotional appeal of ads is something that has always gotten me. I’m the kind of person that gets chills from watching a good commercial. As an athlete, any ad that plays on the emotional appeal of sports, the struggle and the victory, has a big impact on me.
The Under Armour Rule Yourself Campaign is one of the reasons I love sports marketing and branding. It may be because I can relate to the ads to a certain extent, but honestly I think anyone who has ever worked toward a goal or anyone who loves stories of Olympic athletes would be drawn to this campaign.
One of the commercials was focused specifically on Michael Phelps. It was released early in 2016 leading up to the Rio Olympics, Phelps’ final Olympic Games. The commercial is set to The Kills’ “The Last Goodbye”, which starts off with the lyrics, “I have no regrets, for the past is behind me.” This is perfect for Phelps. It may be referring to some of the mishaps he had years ago, but it focuses on now, pressing viewers to let go of any negative feelings they may still have toward the decorated swimmer.
The advertisements included in the campaign all focus on the work elite athletes put in day in and day out to achieve their goals. The repetition. The hardships. The pain, sweat, blood, and tears. Because after all, like the campaign’s tagline says,” Its what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.” In addition to the Michael Phelps advertisement, Under Armour also teamed up with USA Gymnastics and athletes like Stephen Curry.
Even though I know I will never be at the Olympic level the commercials involved in this campaign, ESPECIALLY the one featuring Michael Phelps, pull at my heart so much. They are so relatable to me and I’m sure many other athletes. The feeling this campaign gives me is the feeling I want to recreate for people in my career. I want to motivate people to be the best athletes they can be and I want to create that positive brand image that Under Armour has created for so many through this campaign.
I guess I have a few reasons to thank Michael Phelps for the impact he had on me in so many ways. His actions are what sparked my interest in public relations and his campaign with Under Armour is one of my favorite ads, and one that has motivated me to be a better athlete.