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New Balance Football

Beware the Lion


New Balance Football’s primary sponsored athlete, Sadio Mané had been tagged with a persona which didn’t fit. Yes he was ‘humble and happy’, but that belied his deeper motivations and his ruthless ambition. He was a relentless attacking player, with a burning hunger to win, and to do so he would exploit his opponents weaknesses like a predator on the hunt.


We needed a single minded idea that was true to Sadio’s personality, relevant to his attacking playing style, and motivating to a global target audience of football obsessed teens to whom we needed to confidently convey New Balance’s aggressive growth in the market and position as a real contender to the ‘big three’ of Nike, adidas and Puma.


Beware The Lion. An integrated campaign that went against the overplayed ‘urban football’ aesthetic with a highly polished expression of Sadio Mané’s real persona and the drive behind his success as a player: his pride in his West African roots, his relentless hunger to win. A global campaign overtly confirming his status as one of the most feared attacking footballers in the world.