Under Armour just signed Muhammad Ali–the self-styled Greatest–to endorse its new lifestyle apparel line. The 73-year-old legend is afflicted with Parkinson’s now, but the campaign will be built around his legend, using clips from the past and snapshots of the inimitable Ali poetic style. The Ali brand–once controversial for his ferocity and seminal civil rights activism–is now widely loved and admired. You could say he’s been gentrified.
Some business experts think the battle for celebrity endorsements for brands like Nike and Under Armour ultimately hurt the consumer. Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman says, “The price of the products inevitably will go up for them to keep the margins while spending all this extra money [on endorsements]. So that’s not in consumers’ interests.” Under Armour recently launched its first signature shoe with NBA star Steph Curry. The company has also signed on supermodel Gisele Bundchen and the amazing ballerina Misty Copeland as endorsers, to name just a few.