Under Armour’s goals as a sportswear company shifted in 2020. For starters, they expanded their relationships with serious and prominent athletes across all disciplines of sports illuminated, taking the brand in new directions. Under Armour would no longer present itself solely as a sports retail company––now it was a human performance company.
To amplify their new brand image, Under Armour turned towards iHeartMedia, to craft an original podcast and cement their alignment with human toughness.
Before sprinting on the creative, we established several goals for the podcast that included...
1) Rebrand and reimagine Under Armour as a human performance company
2) Get customers to seek out Under Armour as they embark on new strength journeys
3) Maximize duration spent with the podcast and new brand messaging.
4) Accomplish the previous goals through thoughtful and inspiring storytelling.
Leveraging Under Armour's unique relationships with athletes from all walks of life, we crafted a podcast concept that reinvented how you tell stories of human perseverance strength. While listening to inspiring odysseys from today's top athletes might be cool, dropping into their personal narratives, hearing everything from the shifting gravel of the track to the clang in their weight room is another experience altogether. And we did just that by creating an original podcast that gave listeners the most personal take on what it feels like to know the only way to beat your obstacles is to power through them.
We tapped a diverse roster of determined athletes to ensure we feature unique points of view. We interview incredible sports figures like multiple Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps, Georgia Ellenwood the young Canadian combined events athlete, long-distance runner Kyle Dietz who competed in some of his most challenging races after having traumatic brain surgery to remove a frontal-lobe brain tumor, and American track and field sprinter Natasha Hastings who was tasked with revising her Olympic training program to accommodate her then the pregnant body. Human perseverance isn't found in one type of person, and these athlete's stories demonstrated that first-hand.
But we didn't stop there––we engaged in interviews with our athletes’ coaches, parents, spouses, and personal influences to expand their narratives far beyond what our athletes could communicate on their own. The combination of the expansive interview list and novel sound design broke the often replicated and stale format of interview podcasts available today.
The Only Way is Through garnered over 700,000 downloads since its launch in early 2020 demonstrating the content struck a chord with our target audience of teens and young adults who frequently exercise. And amongst that group, we marked a 13% increase in favorability for the Under Armour brand.
But even more importantly, engagement rates were high with 59% of listeners completing 75% or more of the episodes meaning the audience spent more time with Under Armour’s new brand messaging than average.
With over 100 reviews and a 5-star rating, The Only Way is Through fully realized Under Armour’s dream of revitalizing the way sports content approached storytelling and cemented them as a human performance company.