An unlikely brand is sneaking up on Nike

New Balance
Here’s a screenshot from one of New Balance’s new ads. New Balance

New Balance wants to topple Nike’s sportswear empire. 

The company is rebranding itself with its first ever global marketing push, which will be two times larger than any ad campaign in its century of existence, Bloomberg reports

The campaign launches Wednesday and positions New Balance as tech-savvy with the tagline “Always in Beta.”

It also portrays New Balance as a top choice among pro athletes. One of the first ads features 17 of the brand’s sponsored athletes.

“It’s an effort to position our brand up against the biggest in our category in footwear, apparel and accessories and in multiple sports,” New Balance CEO Rob DeMartini told Bloomberg.

Ad agency Arnold Worldwide created the campaign for New Balance. 

“New Balance wanted to do a reset on where they stand as a brand,” Pete Johnson, managing partner of Arnold Worldwide’s Boston office, told AdWeek. “They have always been a brand that shunned partnerships and endorsements, but now that they are growing at the rate at which they are growing they have looked [at how to] be a real player in the space and the category.” 

Under Armour is often cited as the Nike’s biggest threat. But New Balance has even more revenue than Under Armour 

Under Armour’s revenue was $US3.08 billion in 2014 and the company is expected to bring in $US3.76 billion this year.

By comparison, New Balance’ generated $US3.3 billion in sales last year and will approach $US4 billion this year, DeMartini told Bloomberg.

That’s still a fraction of Nike’s sales, which totaled $US27.8 billion in fiscal 2014.

But New Balance is growing even faster than Nike. New Balance’s annual revenue has grown 15% on average over the last five years, according to Bloomberg, while Nike’s has grown by about 10%.

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