A trailblazing ballerina will be the face of Under Armour in a marketing campaign this year to attract more women to the sports brand.
The Baltimore-based sports apparel and footwear maker said it has signed an agreement with Misty Copeland, a dancer who became the American Ballet Theatre's first African-American soloist in two decades when she joined in 2007.
The dancer will be featured in what Under Armour describes as its biggest marketing campaign ever this year for its women's brand as it tries to expand sales in the category.
"Misty Copeland is a game changer," said Leanne Fremar, Under Armour senior vice president and executive creative director, in the company's announcement.
She said Copeland fits with the brand's strategy of infusing performance gear with style, and 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 took her first ballet class at age 13 and won first place in the Los Angeles Spotlight Awards two years later, despite some early criticism over having a non-dancer's full-figured body.
Copeland said in the announcement Under Armour will supply her training apparel and "help me inspire women as they find the will to pursue their goals."