black women

Superstar Ballerina Misty Copeland Signs a Deal with Under Armour

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by Liku Zelleke

She didn’t start ballet until she had reached the age of 13. By 15 she was already winning awards and fielding professional offers. After two summers with the American Ballet Theater (ABT) she became a member of the Studio Company at 18 and a year later she was a member of the corps de ballet. By 25 she was a soloist – the first African American to do so in decades, and only the second ever in the history of the ABT.

This amazing dancer is Misty Copeland and now she has signed a partnership with Under Armour, the leading American sports performance and innovation brand.

Copeland has been the role model for diversification within the ballet world not just for her color but also her body type; she was able to overcome doubts about her capabilities as a ballerina with a full-figured body type.

Leanne Fremar, Under Armour’s SVP and Executive Creative Director, Under Armour Women’s had this to say about the new partnership: “Misty Copeland is a game changer. 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. She brings modern athleticism to a very traditional art form and pushes the boundaries of the status quo definition of the word ‘athlete.'”

In turn, Copeland said that joining Under Armour felt like a natural fit since “they have always championed hard work and strong women.”

“In addition to supporting me with innovative performance products that give me an edge in my training,” she added, “Under Armour will be a great partner to help me inspire women as they find the will to pursue their goals.”

Copeland will be joining Under Armour’s list of other revolutionary female athletes that have excelled in their respective fields by overcoming odds, including downhill skier Lindsey Vonn and pro tennis player Sloane Stephens.