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This article explores the construction of U.S. nationalism through the branding strategies of Under Armour, a sportswear company which has achieved prominence in the U.S. marketplace and has a growing international profile. By examining their organizational synergies with the NFL, Zephyr technology, and the Wounded Warrior Project, and through a critical reading of the militaristic, philanthropic, nationalistic and masculine dimensions of their Freedom initiative, I illustrate how Under Armour has strategically sought to appeal to the heightened nationalistic tendencies of the post-9/11 United States. A central contention throughout the paper is that Under Armour’s brand development techniques, as mobilized predominantly through their website, offer important theoretical and empirical insights regarding the production, circulation, performance, and embodiment of post-9/11 cultural politics.
Weedon is with the School of Kinesiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.