While Adrienne Lofton has worked as a marketer for global brands like Levi’s and Target, it’s experience from her college years that gives her an edge. In the mid-’90s, Lofton was captain of Howard University’s NCAA Division I volleyball team. Marketing, she said in a 2010 interview, “is no different from being an athlete—knowing your path, setting it early and accomplishing it.”
Lofton’s athletic drive has never served her better than at her current gig as svp of global brand marketing for Under Armour—a position in which she’s merited inclusion in 2015’s class of Brand Genius honorees. Much like Lofton, the brand was an underdog that worked hard and made it big.
The company got its start in 1996 when founder Kevin Plank began selling his performance gear out of the trunk of his car. In keeping with that theme of determination, Under Armour has achieved its colossal brand recognition by signing up highly driven and inspirational athletes and performers before they make it big, and then accompanying them over the top. Golf wonder kid Jordan Spieth, dancer Misty Copeland and Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry—all were Under Armour’s underdogs who became champions.
And thanks to Lofton, the messaging behind these partnerships is confident and inspirational. Under Armour’s “I Will What I Want” campaign, for example, brims with determination, especially for women athletes and consumers. “Inside of the words ‘I Will’ is the motivation that we want to deliver at every single turn,” Lofton says. “It’s about allowing women to have the platform to show that they can absolutely break barriers, they can absolutely set records, they can absolutely be some of the best in the world.”
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