UA, NASCAR and Bass

Under Armour really seems to be branching out with its' brand message. It's actually nice to see, given that it was at risk of falling under Nike's shadow with such heavy roots in just one dominant US-centric support (football). But rather than stick entirely with Nike's early playbook, UA is taking its brand message in a different direction. The top two photos below show recent sports marketing initiatives over the past two weeks.
  • The first is Carl Edwards, who UA endorsed earlier this year. UA added its' logo to the hood of Edwards' #60 Ford Fusion for the Camping World RV Sales 200 in Loudon, New Hampshire. This partnership with Roush-Fenway represents UA dipping its toe in the water with NASCAR. Edwards placed an impressive 5th out of 43.
  • On July 10, those of you who are bass fishermen might have been watching the college bass championship in Little Rock. Lead sponsor? You guessed it... Under Armour.
  • The funny thing here is that most people on Wall Street look at things like NASCAR and Bass Fishing, and think that it is a ridiculous place to spend money from a brand relevance perspective. I can't say that I have a strong view that this approach will work, but we need to keep ourselves honest and look at the possibility that marketing to Middle America might actually pay off in building longer-term brand loyalty.