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Under Armour unveils new initiatives for bolstering youth sports

Under Armour has introduced new commitments to "improving training and access to sports for teenagers, pledging to help millions of youths by 2030," according to Adrianne Pasquarelli of AD AGE. Efforts include a "new collegiate program with scholarships for historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) beginning next month, new programming aimed at young athletes like female football players starting in March, and a networking program that brings together coaches and kids." The company is debuting new marketing that includes "one anthem spot and additional assets focused on three young athletes." The effort was "created internally" and will include "paid media and TV, digital marketing on the brand's channels, and individual athlete support." This "grassroots approach" to supporting younger players "comes at a time when Under Armour appears to be shifting its strategy away from some of the large college and university sponsorship deals it has pursued in the past." In '20, UA invested $361.6M in "sponsorships, including with professional teams, leagues, colleges and universities and athletes -- nearly 50% less than its 2019 investment." The company confirmed that the new HBCU program "could potentially include some uniform outfitting." UA is currently conducting global research to "look at where young athletes have the most trouble accessing sports and what barriers need to be overcome to help them gain access" (ADAGE.com, 1/25).

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