Late last week at Gleason’s gym in Brooklyn, Under Armour unveiled its first performance apparel collection in partnership with the legendary Muhammad Ali. The UA x Muhammad Ali collection commemorates the 40th anniversary of Ali’s iconic “Thrilla in Manila” fight against Joe Frazier and acknowledges the immediate and universal recognition of Ali’s name, which extends beyond his career success and athletic ability to his character and strengths as a man.
“Muhammad Ali is an athlete who fully transcends his sport. He speaks to every generation of athletes,” said Glenn Silbert, Senior Vice President of Men’s Apparel for Under Armour. “Look at what defines him as an athlete: He’s fearless, he’s aggressive, he’s unapologetic.”
Back in March, Under Armour released its “Roots of Fight” collection of T-shirts and sweatshirts inspired by Ali and other boxers. The new collection honoring Ali’s legacy in particular will include footwear and accessories for men, women and youth, geared specifically to meet the needs of the athlete, with lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics.
“I don’t think there’s anything greater than the greatest of all time,” continued Silbert, “but the starting point of the creative process was … asking the question, what if Muhammad had had today’s technology back in the day?”
Athletes on-site at the launch announcement included U.S. boxing heavyweight Cam Awesome, 9-year-old boxer Jovan “Wanna” Walton, and USA Track and Field gold medalist Natasha Hastings.
“I love that Ali had a style about him and he wasn’t afraid to speak to social change,” Hastings said. “He showed that when you’re backed into a corner, whether in the ring or out, if you have something you believe in your heart, say it. And I think this is why everybody, athlete or non-athlete, can connect with him.”
The UA x Muhammad Ali 2015 collection will be available Nov. 1 on UA.com. Check out the video below, which features footage of Ali interspersed with video of other athletes across several sports. The new spot arrives on the heels of UA’s “Rule Yourself” campaign, which emphasizes self-discipline and self-definition.
[youtube video=”yNIxer18xGE” /]