Under Armour launches new ad campaign targeting women

Baltimore-based Under Armour has launched its most ambitious ad campaign aimed at women to date, challenging them to “Sweat Every Day.” The company is also hosting its second “What’s Beautiful” contest, with winners having the chance to work with top trainers.

The new marketing efforts arrive about a month before a new high-end collection called StudioLux Noir hits stores, and are the culmination of three years of development and research.

“This is our full push,” Andrienne Lofton Shaw, Under Armour’s senior director for women’s marketing said. “We’ve taken to time to really listen to what she has to say about what she wants to see in her workout gear.”

Shaw said the campaign will include traditional commercial spots on E!, VH1 and Nickelodeon, but that social media would be the primary way Under Armour tries to reach consumers. They’re making heavy use of Twitter (with the @UAWomen account, and #IWill and #WhatsBeautiful has tags) and Facebook (here’s the page), because of the high level of feedback they can receive. Buyers also trust recommendations from friends.

Women’s apparel is the fastest growing segment of Under Armour’s business, Shaw said, and now accounts for about 30 percent of sales.

The second "What's Beautiful" contest will be similar to the first, which awarded four women with year-long sponsorship deals with the company (including a teacher from Baltimore). To enter, women can use the website or a mobile app that allows them to set goals and share their progress. The Ten most inspiring women, as chosen by Under Armour, will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to work with top trainers, coaches and nutritionists.

Skier Lindsey Vonn and former mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano, who is currently working as an actress. She's in London now, shooting scenes for The Fast and the Furious 6, according to Shaw.

"She may not be competing as an athlete anymore, but she embodies what women look for," Shaw said. "She's all about that will and determination, and showing it every day."

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