Under Armour turns to podcasts and long-form content in bid to ‘re-center’ global brand- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

After years of pushing its products and tech, Under Armour is re-investing in its central brand with a new global platform and its first foray into podcasting.
Its latest campaign, ‘The Only Way is Through’, aims to realign the sports label as one that truly understands athletes’ drive to push limits – to break “through” pain and mental barriers.
It features a wide array of star athletes, including basketball MVP Stephen Curry, swimming legend Michael Phelps and volleyball world champion Zhu Ting, who star in a fast-cut hero film that places them all in their natural, blood-pumping environments.
It was created in-house under chief marketing officer Alessandro de Pestel and vice-president of global brand creative, Brian Boring.
Boring said it was important for this campaign to be built internally, given it is not just a seasonal initiative. The in-house agency, which he dubbed a “muscle” that is growing again after leaning on various agencies for the past decade, was tasked with “re-centering” the brand around an emotional focal point.
This led to the creation of an entirely new global platform.
“In the last few years we’ve thrown a lot of different campaigns out there and we’re thrown a lot of different messaging out into the marketplace,” said Boring. “A lot of it was product focused and a lot of it was category focused, and we didn’t really have one centralized theme that all of our athletes and out brand could rally around.
“That’s something we’d done really well in the past and we wanted to get back to that. We wanted to make sure we had one central idea that all of our storytelling could ladder off of and just get back to what makes us really strong.”

This regrouping comes at a salient time for the business. Former chief operating officer Patrik Frisk was named chief executive on 1 January after incumbent Kevin Plank stepped back into the role of chairman and brand chief.
The announcement of the C-suite reshuffle came on Under Armour’s Q3 2019 results, which – despite beating guidance – caused stocks to dip. The earnings led Yahoo to dub the company ‘a brand in crisis’, while a number of commentators took the 4% drop in North America revenues as a sign the brand was struggling to compete with the likes of Nike and Adidas.
So now, the company is taking its commitment to high performance athletes and placing it front and center of its campaigns, rather than letting its technical innovations and fashion trends take the spotlight. Other brands, he believes, “are not as dedicated” to this kind of consumer.
This strategy will be supported by a “360-degree approach to marketing”, said Frisk.
“We’ll go and market ourselves across every channel that we need to market ourselves across to make sure that we’re increasing consideration with the consumer,” he told investors in November.
“It will be a holistic approach to both upper-funnel marketing and also sports moments marketing, where you’ll see Under Armour show up where our athletes show up.”

Under Armour has put significant investment behind ‘The Only Way is Through’, flying teams around the globe to capture its roster of athletes in their natural environments and cashing out on a wide-ranging media plan.
Alongside out-of-home and OTT streaming buys, the brand is trialing new formats in order to get consumers engaging deeper with its athletes and – consequently – the brand. It’s launching its first podcast with iHeartRadio, which will act as a platform for elite athletes to tell stories of their training success.
The series, which will launch as an eight-parter, will be hosted by the lauded intererviewer Call Fussman. Boring hopes the format will offer up a “captive audience” and allow the brand to experiment with long-form storytelling for the first time.
Similarly, Under Armour has brokered a deal with The Players’ Tribune, where the brand’s stars will write about their experiences in sport. It’s also ramping up its investment in experiential in order to give consumers better access to its athletes, trainers, grassroots and collegiate partners.
“And we’re doing some unique, longer format storytelling through YouTube,” said Boring.
“So, we have many different formats and lots of different content. It’s going to sustain throughout the year – it’s big, it’s powerful and we’re really excited about it.”

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Spotify users can now share music and podcasts to Snapchat – gpgmail

Spotify users can now share their favorite music and podcasts with friends on Snapchat, the company announced this morning, with added support for sharing a song, playlist, artist profile, or podcast either directly to your friends on Snapchat or to your Snapchat Story.

Snapchat is now one of several destinations that Spotify users can share to, along with WhatsApp, Messages, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram Stories, and as of just last week, Facebook Stories.

Using the new feature is same as with any other sharing option — you tap the three-dot share menu in the top right of the app’s interface, and choose Snapchat from the dropdown list. Snapchat will open with a new Snap and the full album art included. You can then edit and send the Snap as usual.

Recipients of your Snap will be able to tap the context card to listen to the music or podcast you’ve shared.

In addition to simply sharing music with friends, the feature will also make it possible for Spotify artists and their teams to promote their music to Snapcat’s 203 million daily users — most of who are well-within the coveted teen to young adult demographic that Spotify’s artists are hoping to reach.

The feature itself is powered by Snap’s Creative Kit (a part of Snap Kit), which lets users share media from a developer’s app or website.

Spotify is now one of over 200 apps that have integrated with Snap Kit following the June 2018 debut of the platform, which aims to offer a more private alternative to Facebook. In many cases, however, support for Snapchat is being added to other apps and sites alongside their existing support for Facebook and Instagram — as in the case here.

The expansion to Spotify’s sharing feature comes at a time when the streamer is looking for growth — especially in light of growing competition from rivals like Amazon Music and Apple Music. The former benefits from integrations with Prime and Alexa while the latter from its preinstallation on Apple devices. (And possibly a new bundle with Apple TV+, as we’ll find out tomorrow at Apple’s iPhone event.)

Spotify, meanwhile, notably missed its user estimates in its Q2 2019 earnings, with 8 million new subscribers in the quarter instead of the expected 8.5 million. With expanded social sharing options, it hopes to reach millions more users who may later convert to paying customers.

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Pandora now lets you share music and podcasts to your Instagram Stories – gpgmail

Pandora today announced a new integration with Instagram that will allow users to share their favorite music and podcasts to their Instagram Story. The feature comes well over a year after Spotify launched a similar integration with Instagram Stories, and only days after Spotify introduced sharing to Facebook Stories, as well.

In Pandora’s case, accessing the feature is also a quick and easy process — you just tap the “Share” button from the Now Playing screen in the app, then choose “Instagram Stories” as the destination.

A cover art card for the music or podcast will then be generated on your Instagram Story, which you can further decorate with text and stickers, as usual. You can also choose to send the story as a direct message to a friend or a group chat, instead of all your followers.

Where Pandora’s experience differs from Spotify’s is what happens when that story is viewed.

When a friend taps the “Play on Pandora” button from the Instagram story, they can gain direct access to that content — even if they don’t have a Premium account. Those who aren’t paid subscribers will be able to view a short ad then gain access to both the shared content as well as a session of free, unlimited, on-demand music.

This is made possible through Pandora’s Premium Access ad solution, which rewards users for watching video ads with free, on-demand sessions.

That means Pandora’s take on Instagram sharing won’t just be useful to artists looking to promote their music, or fans looking to engage their friends — it will also potentially serve as a way to convert free users to paid subscribers after they get a free taste of what Pandora has to offer.

The feature can also be used to promote podcasts, which a newer battleground between Spotify and Pandora these days. The former has spent on acquisitions and hosts a number of exclusive shows while Pandora is now benefitting from new owner’s SiriusXM’s talk radio programming and its own “Genome” classification technology. 

Pandora says the Instagram Story sharing feature is launching today for select users, and will support sharing songs, albums, podcasts, and playlists.

It’s rolling out to a limited number of Pandora users to start, and will gradually reach the rest of the user base in the weeks ahead.

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