BALTIMORE, April 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of the brand's origin in athlete performance, Under Armour (NYSE:UA, UAA) showcases the importance of hard work, dedication and resilience in its new year-long global training campaign. As the foremost experts in helping athletes unlock their best, Under Armour recognizes dedicated training and hard work as the essential ingredients towards mastery of any skill. In its "Will Finds A Way" campaign, Under Armour sets out to inspire and ignite the world by taking consumers on a motivational journey spotlighting Dwayne Johnson as he introduces the stories of eight trailblazing athletes: world champion sprinter Natasha Hastings; Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini; NBA point guard Dennis Smith Jr.; actress & taekwondo national champion Zoe Zhang; world champion judoka Teddy Riner; stuntwoman Jessie Graff; triathlete Johnny Agar; and state boxing & gymnastics champion Javon "Wanna" Walton.
Dwayne Johnson is no stranger to resilience and hard work. As the ultimate motivator, narrator and spirit of this campaign, he reinforces that nothing is impossible with WILL. Johnson uses his life as an example to this testament, sharing examples of beating all odds and becoming the person he is today by being the hardest worker in the room. He carved a new path for himself when his dream of becoming a pro football player was crushed and found himself with less than $7 dollars in his pocket. Through these trials, he knows first-hand there is something that lives in each one of us that helps defy doubt, failure or circumstance.
"Over the years, I've failed hard and had my dreams crushed, which inevitably put my back up against the wall. Through that struggle on my way back up, I've learned there's one undeniable constant to success, and that's to always be the hardest worker in the room," said Johnson. "Our Under Armour 'Will Finds A Way' campaign celebrates the power 'will' has to overcome the odds and achieve the unthinkable. I'm honored to work alongside some of the most hard-working everyday women and men (and kids) for this campaign, all of which have risen to greatness through unwavering will, determination and being the hardest worker in the room."
The collection of films was created in partnership with creative agency Droga5, and directed by award-winning directors The Malloy brothers and Nathalie Canguilhem of Superprime. In the launch film, Johnson introduces the unique ways each of the featured athletes have willed themselves to greatness; from overcoming social anxiety at a young age, to escaping turmoil and war, or battling the constraints of physical disability. The fast-paced narrative and visual style carries the audience through this collection of inspiring journeys with the same tenacity that fuels these athletes' training every day. The result is a slew of energetic, motivating films that leaves viewers with the sense that no matter their circumstance, with the right amount of WILL, you will find your way to the top.
Following the launch anthem comes individual films that explore deeper into the athlete's story of WILL:
Natasha Hastings missed out on quintessential childhood experiences to focus all her energy in running and training and has had to face those who criticized her strong, athletic build. Those life realities, driven by her will to reach her full potential, propelled her to become one of the best and most elite runners in the world, where she's earned the moniker the '400 Meter Diva.'
Yusra Mardini experienced inconceivable turmoil and war in her home country of Syria, but her sheer will for survival powered her strokes across treacherous ocean waves when she saved numerous other refugees by swimming their boat to safety. She went on to compete as a swimmer with the Refugee Olympic Team and continues to train to meet her next goal: competing in the 2020 Olympics.
Dennis Smith Jr. suffered a knee injury that threatened to take his dream away, of making it to the elite collegiate level and then on to the NBA. After learning to dunk on the playgrounds of Fayetteville, North Carolina and ignoring the trappings of outside influences, he made it to the courts of the NBA where he continues to play with a fury that comes from knowing how close he was to losing out on his dream.
Zoe Zhang experienced a devastating injury that forced her into early sport retirement as a winning class champion on the National Taekwondo team, but instead of stopping there she changed courses and took advantage of her hard-earned skills to become one of China's most famous actresses with a focus in martial arts. Her flexibility and ability to quickly adapt renders her a force to be reckoned with, on and off the big screen.
Teddy Riner devoted his life from a young age to Judo, and is aiming to become the greatest judoka ever seen. People think it comes naturally to him, but no one sees how early he starts his day, how many hours he spends in the gym and how he keeps his body and skills top-notch to redefine what's possible in Judo and continue to strive to become the greatest judoka in the world.
Jessie Graff is a real-life superhero; despite her supernatural abilities to navigate prominent elaborate obstacle courses and handle stunts for prominent films and television shows, Jessie believes her true superpower is her will as she continues to surpass her competitors, both male and female.
Johnny Agar is an inspiration to the Under Armour brand, with a unique partnership that started in 2017 with Johnny starring in his own homemade version of an Under Armour commercial. Today, his story continues to be celebrated through the "Will Finds A Way" campaign. He faces unimaginable challenges daily; with cerebral palsy comes the loss of ability for basic life skills, like walking or feeding himself, but he gets up every morning to train for athletic competitions most people without the constraints of disabilities wouldn't fathom training for. He ignores the doubt of his own body and strives to push beyond his physical limits with pure emotional strength, ultimately training with vigor to walk the last mile of a triathlon with his father.
Javon "Wanna" Walton is all too familiar with the word "no" after hearing it repeatedly throughout his short decade-long life, from doubters not believing in his dreams. His uncompromising approach to training and becoming a champion in two sports - gymnastics and boxing - fuels his vision of becoming heavyweight champion one day; nothing is standing in his way.
"Under Armour is passionate about driving with a performance lens in all that we do, spreading our core belief that training, along with mental fortitude, and sheer conviction, are the ultimate keys to success," said Adrienne Lofton, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Management, Under Armour. "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. 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."
To experience the full "Will Finds A Way" campaign, including the individual pieces of athlete content, and to shop the Spring / Summer 2018 UA Training collection, visit www.underarmour.com/will-finds-a-way and download the UA Shop App on the App Store or Google Play™ store. The campaign will be released and supported globally, specifically in the U.S., Europe and China. The "Will Finds A Way" campaign will feature hundreds of pieces of content that have been created for Under Armour's digital and social platforms.
To view the campaign films, go to youtube.com/UnderArmour. To follow the "Will Finds A Way" campaign story and to learn more about Under Armour Training, visit UA.com, facebook.com/UnderArmour and join in the conversation on Twitter and on Instagram @UnderArmour with #WillFindsAWay.
About Under Armour, Inc. Under Armour, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland is a leading innovator, marketer and distributor of branded performance athletic apparel, footwear and accessories. Designed to make all athletes better, the brand's innovative products are sold worldwide to consumers with active lifestyles. The company's Connected Fitness™ platform powers the world's largest digitally connected health and fitness community. For further information, please visit www.uabiz.com.