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Common Ground and Umbro launch global It’s a Training Thing campaign

Common Ground has partnered with Manchester sportswear giant Umbro for its latest Pro Training campaign: It’s a Training Thing.

In the global campaign, which launches this week, two athletes, Harrison and Elise, show how transferring skills from one sport to another enhanced their performance.

As an avid rugby player from a young age, Harrison gained skills that he could apply to CrossFit: he knew how and when to push himself, while PT and CrossFit coach Elise became stronger, more capable, and a better runner, cyclist, and athlete through CrossFit.

Common Ground worked with Umbro to cast real athletes and tell their stories across Umbro’s social channels (Instagram, You Tube and TikTok), and in-store at global retail partners.

Founded out of the belief that movement is the catalyst to realising a better self, Common Ground generated new research and insight into behavioural wellbeing, and from it crafted campaigns that resonate with Umbro’s community.

Working closely with Umbro’s creative team, Common Ground produced two 60-second spots, trailers and a series of editorial photography.

Umbro/Common Ground – Harrison’s story

Common Ground director and photographer Chris Baker said: “Too often campaigns suggest athletic perfection, but this is far from reality. Our collaboration with Umbro focuses on capturing a true reflection of training. It is only by listening to athletes’ stories that we can truly respond to their lived experiences.”

London CrossFit coach Harrison first found CrossFit when he was in the off season of rugby: “From the first day I loved it. Having a background in rugby, the ability to run fast, to jump high, change direction quickly, correlate into CrossFit,” he said. He added that he sees CrossFit as a community- based, team-orientated sport and loves to train with friends as it allows him to get competitive and makes him feel like he’s part of something.

Junior doctor Elise suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that manifests through lots of laxity in joints. She found that building muscle means that she no longer experiences pain when working out: “Doing CrossFit has really helped because it’s helped me build muscle around those joints,” she said. “When I used to run I would get loads of pain because I didn’t have much stability. Now, I don’t suffer with that pain. I’m just in my zone and I’m doing it.”

Helene Hope, head of global brand marketing at Umbro added: “With Common Ground, we have found the perfect partner for our Training campaigns – they intuitively understand our brand ethos: real sport – less hype, no filters. We want to bring our collections and campaigns to life with real people and authentic voices. Working with two talented CrossFit athletes such as Harrison and Elise not only offers an interesting perspective on the benefits of training, but also allows us to perfectly showcase the multi-functional qualities of our Pro Training collection.”

The Pro Training campaign launches across Umbro’s social channels this week, first with teasers and then with Harrison’s story launching on September 8. Elise’s story will follow on September 13.

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