A segment on a sports show. A whisper on the sideline. A post on a social media feed. Athletes experience comparisons everywhere concerning just about anything—their form, their record, their presence on the team. Which All-Star do they most resemble? How does their technique stack up to the Greats? Will they be the GOAT or a bust?
Comparisons are no longer used for context, they’re now confused with competition.
Combating this long-standing and increasingly toxic trend, Under Armour has created a rallying cry to fuel self-confidence in youth athletes by empowering them to Be The Athlete No One Saw Coming in their latest campaign.
Focused on encouraging young athletes to look beyond the comparisons and focus on their biggest competition – the athlete in the mirror – the campaign marks another important milestone in Under Armour’s ongoing mission to make athletes better.
“Being the Athlete No One Saw Coming is about focus, confidence, and grit—all of which are traits we want to instill in the next generation. We’re connecting directly with youth athletes at the start of another important fall sports season to remind them that they shouldn’t try to mimic their idols, they should foster their talent and become the best possible version of themselves.”– Paul Nugent – SVP Global Brand Marketing & Category, Under Armour
To bring this campaign to life, Under Armour is uniting a mix of voices and performance-focused action to ensure inspiration is backed by tangible gains.
Who better to embody the spirit and grit of the Athlete No One Saw Coming than the original himself—Tom Brady.
From the 199th overall pick to the all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns, Brady’s legendary career hinges on his ability to focus solely on his game and be his own biggest competition.
Now, after 22 years in the game, Tom is working with Under Armour to remind future GOATs that they shouldn’t aspire to be the next him or the next anybody, they should aspire to be the next version of themselves.
Tom Brady’s open letter to young athletes takes on a new life through a film in which another legend of their craft, Morgan Freeman, narrates this empowering manifesto.
“For young athletes today, there are more distractions coming up through the ranks than there were for me. I wasn’t a prodigy. I had to really work hard to put myself in a position to succeed. The best way for the next generation of athletes to succeed is to block out the noise and focus on being the best versions of themselves.”– Tom Brady
But just inspiring the next generation is not enough. In order for Under Armour to live its mission to make athletes better and deliver on the brand’s Access to Sport commitment, the UA Athlete No One Saw Coming Grant will provide youth athletes with the opportunity to improve their performance on their journey to compete.
The grant will award 10 determined young athletes with a $5,000 grant, the opportunity to participate in an in-person performance experience at a UA campus and gear for a year.
Youth athletes ages 14-17 living in the United States and participating in organised competition are eligible to enter by submitting a 150-word write-up about their athletic journey. To enter, visit www.uaathletegrant.com.
Included in the hero campaign spot, is Husan Longstreet, a promising young quarterback heading into his sophomore year at Inglewood High School, who was chosen by his coach to star in the film.
With over a dozen DI college football offers already on the table at the age of 15, Husan knows what it’s like to feel the pressure of competition and the weight of expectations, but he’s keeping his blinders on.
“To me, ‘Be The Athlete No One Saw Coming’ means I need to let my passion drive me on my own path to greatness,” said Husan. “It reminds me to leave comparisons behind on social media and not let them deter me from what I know I can accomplish on my path.”
Under Armour athletes, Joel Embiid and Jordan Thompson will lead a global pack of athlete support designed to help amplify the importance of not letting comparison keep you from your own greatness.
Together, Under Armour, Tom Brady and UA athletes are encouraging the next generation to level up and embrace the opportunity to be the athlete no one saw coming.
For more information on Under Armour’s Access to Sport commitment and how the brand is creating opportunities for millions of youth to engage in sport by 2030, click here.