Inaugural Deal Report (and 5 Questions): Manteo Mitchell signs with Under Armour
Pat Price | On 07, Nov 2014
Welcome to a new Friday feature here at the Daily Relay, the “Deal Report.” We hope to showcase new sponsorship deals landed in the track & field community and get a little insight from the agents, the brands they are representing and the athletes themselves. If you’re an agent, athlete, or sponsor, please send news and tips to DealReport@DailyRelay.com as we want to hear from you whether you are gaining, or losing, a sponsor.
This column will be more of a rundown, but we wanted to highlight someone who is great on and off the track, Manteo Mitchell. Mitchell is known for running his leg of the 4×400 at the London Olympics with a broken leg, and is a must follow on Twitter @ManteoMitchell He just inked a deal with Under Armour and discusses it below.
5 Questions with Manteo Mitchell
1. Daily Relay: First off, congrats on your new deal with Under Armour. How did this come about?
Manteo Mitchell: Thank you! I’m excited to be a part of the Under Armour family. My time with my previous sponsor was up. Upon speaking with my agent, Chris Layne (Total Sports US), we felt it was best to see what was out there for me. I am very fortunate to now have Under Armour supporting me!
2. Daily Relay: You have a very active social media presence. Do you believe that made your more marketable to a company like Under Armour. Do you have a plan in marketing yourself, or is this just your natural persona?
Manteo Mitchell: Social media is huge right now in just about every aspect of life. As a professional athlete, it can be used as a major platform allowing you to stand out amongst others. I enjoy sharing my life as an athlete on social media, and now that Under Armour is part of my life, I look forward to sharing that aspect too. Under Armour seeks to empower athletes everywhere. I fit well with the brand and it’s vision to do such, both on and off the track! I’m sure the smile and hair gave me an extra point or two!!!
3. Daily Relay: What were some things you weighed out personally when decided to sign with Under Armour. What do they expect from you? What do you expect from them?
Manteo Mitchell: I wanted more than just gear at my door every few months. I craved a relationship. The brand’s dedication to performance is second to none and on a more personal level, Under Armour’s tenacity really resonated with me. I love the team culture that runs through all parts of the brand. They believe that I am the perfect ambassador for the brand both as an athlete and as a person. We mutually believe that the next chapter in my life will be full of success. It takes a true “team” to help mold you into the athlete and individual you want to be. I am happy to say that I have finally found that “team” in Under Armour!
4. Daily Relay: You attended Western Carolina and continue to live and train in North Carolina. What is it about the mountains and the Carolinas that make it ideal for you?
Manteo Mitchell: My coach, Danny Williamson, is an amazing man, coach, and father-figure. Under his guidance, I have done the unthinkable in this sport. There’s so much more to come. I chose to continue living and training here because of him and his expertise. Following a pretty successful campaign as a collegiate student-athlete, I felt it was only right that I stay and continue to add on to the success. The mountains are beautiful and the scenery in training definitely helps get me through some of those rough days at the “Oval Office”.
5. Daily Relay: With 2015 a World Championship year, what are some of your goals for the upcoming season?
Manteo Mitchell: MAKE THE TEAM! My personal goals are simple. Instead of stating a specific target time in my events, I have chosen a different approach. I plan to run each race as if it were my last. Leave it all out there with no regrets. In doing so, I’ll be consistent in each race. The times are sure to follow with that mindset every time I touch the track.
6. Daily Relay: What advice can you give others looking for sponsorship in Track & Field? Aside from running faster, jumping higher, etc. What’s one thing they can start doing today to make themselves more valuable to a major sponsor?
Manteo Mitchell: Market yourself wisely. You’d assume that the sponsorships would come if you are competing well, however, you must remember that there are about 20-30 other athletes doing the same thing or better. It’s a competition within a competition. Everyone is fighting to get the best gigs. You are your brand. Own it and always remember what you do off the track follows you onto it!
If you enjoy 5 Questions, check out the archive of previous interviews over at Writing About Running
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