Leading sportwear company Under Armour is adding a very interesting new member to its team of elite athletes: African-American ballerina Misty Copeland.
Copeland, who is a soloist with the American Ballet Theatre, signed a multiyear partnership with the influential clothing and accessory company. She will be featured this year in Under Armour’s biggest marketing campaign yet for its women’s brand, Broadway World reports.
The ballerina is renowned as one who defied all odds, launching herself into a successful dance career, despite not starting to study ballet until age 13—which is considered incredibly late in the strenuous art form. In 2007 she became ABT’s first black female soloist in 20 years and only the second in the troupe’s history. An advocate for diversifying the traditional art, Copeland speaks frequently about her own childhood struggles over her full-figured body type.
“Misty Copeland is a game changer,” Leanne Fremar, Under Armour’s senior vice president and executive creative director of the company’s women’s line, said in a statement. “Just as Under Armour is changing our [consumers’] expectations around performance gear by infusing it with style and design, Misty is changing the world’s view of what it means to be a world-class ballerina.”
“Joining the Under Armour family feels like a natural fit, since they have always championed hard work and strong women,” Copeland, 31, said. “In addition to supporting me with innovative performance products that give me an edge in my training, Under Armour will be a great partner to help me inspire women as they find the will to pursue their goals.”
According to Broadway World, the dancer joins other top-notch female athletes in the Under Armour roster, including downhill skier Lindsey Vonn and tennis player Sloane Stephens.
Read more at Broadway World.