New Balance
The Daily Grind

How do you create opportunities for a brand to promote their sponsored athletes with unique content that resonates with casual fans?

We sent GoPros to some of New Balance’s signature athletes for a self-documentary series called “The Grind” – a reference to the physical and mental strain they put themselves through on a daily, monthly, even yearly basis – with an emphasis on showcasing the work it takes to reach the game’s highest levels.

The idea that these athletes aren’t as superhuman as they seem is at the core of the experience: the spectacular feats that fans see during the course of competition is the result of an intense daily regimen that’s equal parts hard work, mental fortitude and sacrifice. It’s a decidedly less glamorous look at the life of a competitive athlete: the training, constant travel, nutritional discipline, the thrill of victory and at times, even anguish – and the resolve it takes to bounce back and do it all over again.

The series is narrated by the athletes themselves, the result of interviews we conducted with them once we received and processed their footage. We then worked with each athlete to create their own custom NB shoe and feature page on newbalance.com to help round out the story.

The first two episodes feature British tennis star Heather Watson and Olympic runner Genevieve LeCaze, with more episodes in the works. The result was a unique, decidedly raw and at times emotional peek behind the curtain into these athletes’ lives. Through their eyes, we witness firsthand the physical, mental and emotional cost of being a professional athlete and why, in the end, it’s all worth it.