American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland has signed on to be one of the faces of Under Armour athletic company.
Company CEO and founder Kevin Plank announced the news yesterday at a press event held at Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal in NYC. As part of the deal of the multi-year partnership, Copeland will appear in the company’s marketing campaign to promote its “full-fledged line of women’s products that will include ballerina products,” said Plank.
Copeland is the latest addition to Under Armour’s elite roster of groundbreaking female athletes that have broken barriers to reach the top of their respective fields, including world champion downhill skier Lindsey Vonn and professional tennis player Sloane Stephens.
“Misty Copeland is a game changer,” said Leanne Fremar, Under Armour, SVP and Executive Creative Director, Under Armour Women’s. “Just as Under Armour is changing our consumer’s expectations around performance gear by infusing it with style and design, Misty is changing the world’s view of what it means to be a world-class ballerina. She brings a modern athleticism to a very traditional art form and pushes the boundaries of the status quo definition of the word ‘athlete.'”
Copeland cemented her status as a trailblazer in 2007 when she became the first African-American female soloist in twenty years at American Ballet Theatre, the second in the history of the company. Her path to success was an untraditional one; she took her first ballet class at age 13, considerably later than most of her peers. But the prodigal ballerina defied expectations to clinch first place in the prestigious Los Angeles Spotlight Awards by age 15. A role model for diversification within the traditional art form, Copeland also overcame early criticism as a ballerina with a full-figured body type.
“Joining the Under Armour family feels like a natural fit since they have always championed hard work and strong women,” Copeland said. “In addition to supporting me with innovative performance products that give me an edge in my training, Under Armour will be a great partner to help me inspire women as they find the will to pursue their goals.”
Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, Under Armour is a global company with locations all over the world including Jakarta, NY and Sao Paulo. CEO and founder Kevin Plank, who served as emcee at the event, said the company has had market dominance in apparel and plans to do the same for their new line of footwear. NFL Quarterback Cam Newton, who is also on the company’s roster of talented athletes, was on hand to promote a signature shoe called the Cam Highlight Football Cleat. “We wanted to step out on a limb and create something no one has seen. The Highlight Football Cleat has been on my feet for three years and running,” he said to a crowd of journalists, athletes and corporate executives.