BALTIMORE (WJZ) — High school football players from Baltimore City are now the stars of a new Under Armour commercial.

Jessica Kartalija explains the executive producer of the new “Ready For August” ad is an expert when it comes to football.

In the shadow of the Baltimore City Detention Center, an empty grass lot is the practice field for football players at St. Francis Academy.

On his cell phone, St. Francis junior Malik Christian shows his starring role in Under Armour’s newest ad for their “I Will Campaign.”

“It was exciting. It was beyond exciting,” said head coach Messay Hailemariam. “Tells our story in a 60 second version of what football is like in an inner city–carrying their equipment, coming from the subway, walking from home, riding their bikes.”

Under Armour says the ad appeals to the underdog–in this case, the athletes who do whatever it takes to be part of the team.


Dave Broscious, the creative director at GKV, says it works.

“The idea of appealing to kids at this time in their lives and showing you understand them and are with them–that’s the sweet spot,” Broscious said.

As if being featured in a national ad for Under Armour isn’t enough, enter former Raven Ray Lewis, who helped direct the 60 second spot.

“Ray Lewis inspires me. He helps me get my confidence,” Christian said.

He says he got some one-on-one time with the former Raven, who said the ad was inspired by Lewis’ own football memories.

The ad debuts on national TV next week.


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