The rumored partnership between A$AP Rocky and Under Armour has been officially announced, a deal that’s been described as a multi-faceted strategic partnership that will include the creation of a new collection housed under the brand’s higher-priced, lifestyle-oriented UAS label.
While not included in press materials, Vice’s ad agency, Virtue Worldwide, is said to be handling the creative side of all Rocky-related campaigns, an effort that will include the creation of a new UAS logo.
In addition to product, the collaboration will include the opening and updating of community centers where young people and their family members can go to work on an array of creative endeavors. Baltimore, Los Angeles and New York will be areas of initial focus.
“I wanted more than a collaboration partner,’” said A$AP Rocky in a press release. “The only way to achieve this is with someone who is like minded. The Under Armour team, and especially CEO and Founder Kevin Plank, has a shared vision, enthusiasm, and desire to do the same. I grew up in Harlem, and had limited resources to channel my inner-creativity, so I spent too much time on the streets when I should have been more productive. I now have the ability to create a better situation for today’s kids so they can go from school to a safe place to create without boundaries. Under Armour was the company that was most excited about my idea to turn sportswear products on their head while bettering kids’ lives.”
Setting up the partnership to include community outreach has to be viewed as smart way to package the 28-year-old rap star, whose image isn’t squeaky clean and thus puts him at odds with the brand’s more suburban/conservative customer base.
In comparison to Adidas, Nike and Puma, Under Armour has been behind the curve in bringing on celebrity influencers outside of sport. Top signees for Under Armour include Steph Curry, Misty Copeland, Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and tennis player Sloane Stephens, who recently took home the U.S. Open championship.
Under Armour hasn’t provided any details on either timing of the collection or opening of community centers.
— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) September 15, 2017