Last year, former Raven Ray Lewis signed a different sort of deal with Under Armour. The seven-year partnership, the company said, focuses on grassroots football programs “and working together on community impact and giveback initiatives.”
The new deal superseded an earlier contract Lewis had with the company. “The focus has changed,” the former linebacker said after the signing. “It used to be, ‘Give me the best cleats.’ Now it’s ‘I need you to help me make these communities better.’ ”
Last weekend, Lewis held the first such event -- a camp the company aid attracted more than 120 Baltimore players from grades 5-7.
The session was closed to the media, but Under Armour said it included skill station rotations, agility drills, footwork drills, yoga, football-specific drills and tackling instruction.
“Don't walk through life just playing football,” Under Armour quoted Lewis telling the kids. “Don't walk through life just being an athlete. Athletics will fade. Character and integrity and really making an impact on someone's life, that's the ultimate vision, that's the ultimate goal -- bottom line.”
Next month, Under Armour will hold the Ray Lewis Academy at IMG in Bradenton, Fla. The company described it as an invitation-only camp for 70 “elite underclass linebackers and running backs.”
Lewis retired from the NFL after the 2012 season.