New Balance kicks off 2017 with 'Letters to My Future Self' campaign to inspire athletes

Boston-based shoemaker New Balance is inspiring people this year with a campaign that highlights several high-profile athletes, including Olympian Boris Berian, tennis champion Milos Raonic and X Games gold medalist (and MIT-educated architect) Alexis Sablone, writing “Letters to My Future Self".

The campaign features videos and letters the athletes apparently penned to themselves highlighting the goals, the drive and the values that they embody to be the best.

Berian wrote to his future self:

“Remember when NO ONE believed in you?

And you were on your own...Fearless.

Remember all of it because that is what made you.

Remember all of it, everytime you put it on the line.

Remember yourself.”

The letters are augmented by long and short videos of the athletes reading them. Berian’s shows a child running on the beach – supposedly himself in younger days – then the letter starts and shows Berian working at a fast food restaurant as a line cook, which he did while training and struggling hard to get to the top levels of athletics.

"Every New Year represents a new beginning, a new opportunity for self-improvement and presents that iconic moment for athletes and individuals around the world to redefine personal ambitions, motivations and sense of purpose,” said Chris Davis, New Balance vice president of global marketing. “At New Balance, our marketing is a reflection of our values, so we created the ‘Letters to My Future Self’ campaign to showcase the true individuality, grit and unparalleled persona of our world class athletes. Through their own words, reflections and inner strength, they inspire athletes everywhere to unrelentingly pursue the best version of their future self.”

Sablone, a gifted skateboarder and architect, sees the world through a unique lens and fearlessly embraced that difference and made it her own which took her to the medal stand at the X Games five times.

Raonic, a rising star in the global tennis circuit, uses the fire to win as a competitive advantage on the court and off fueling his 140-plus mph serves and inspiring the next generation of athletes.

Mini films on global athletes including runners Ciara Mageean and Tom Barr will highlight their aspirational stories through their own letters to their future selves.

“These films portray how overcoming obstacles both in sport and in life represent a transformative experience that can forever alter an athlete's journey and outlook for the future, said Davis. “What you would say to your future self is a powerful realization of your fears, values, ambitions and the type of person you want to become.”

After reading the athletes’ stories, visitors to the New Balance website are encouraged to write letters to their own future selves. The letter will then be emailed back to the person a year from the date they wrote it, so they can see if they achieved their athletic and personal goals.

All the videos and letters can be found on the New Balance site, as well as the company’s YouTube page.

The campaign launched Tuesday in the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Latin America, New Zealand and Australia, and will be followed by Taiwan and Hong Kong on January 20 and China on February 24. In the US, the campaign will also be featured through The Player’s Tribune and Vice Media. Ace Content of NYC handled the creative for the campaign and PGR managed the media for the US.

The campaign also has a social media element on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat with a hashtag of #MyFutureSelf.

Kyle O'Brien

I am a reporter for The Drum covering a wide array of topics but always trying to tell the best stories possible. I am a former west coaster from California and Portland, Oregon, now living in Pennsylvania — with time spent in NYC each week.

I also play saxophone professionally.

All by Kyle