Umbro X Common Ground: A true reflection of training

Common Ground has partnered with Umbro for their latest Pro Training campaign: It’s a Training Thing.

In this global campaign, which launches on 7th September 2023, two athletes show how transferring skills from one sport to another enhanced their performance. As an avid rugby player from a young age, Harrison gained skills that he could apply to CrossFit: he knew how and when to push himself. Through CrossFit, Elise – PT and CrossFit coach – became stronger, more capable, and a better runner, cyclist, and athlete.

Common Ground worked with Umbro to cast real athletes and tell their stories across Umbro’s social channels (Instagram, You Tube & TikTok), and in-store at global retail partners. Founded out of the belief that movement is the catalyst to realising a better self, Common Ground generate new research and insight in behavioural wellbeing, and from it craft campaigns that resonate with Umbro’s community. Working closely with Umbro’s creative team, Common Ground produced two 60 second spots, trailers and a series of editorial photography.

Common Ground director and photographer, Chris Baker explains: “Too often campaigns suggest athletic perfection, but this is far from reality. Our collaboration with Umbro focuses on capturing a true reflection of training. It is only by listening to athletes’ stories that we can truly respond to their lived experiences.”

Harrison is a CrossFit coach in London. He first found CrossFit when he was in the off season of rugby. “From the first day I loved it. Having a background in rugby, the ability to run fast, to jump high, change direction quickly, correlate into CrossFit,” said Harrison. He sees CrossFit as a community-based, team-orientated sport; he loves to train with friends as it allows him to get competitive and makes him feel like he’s part of something.

Elise is a junior doctor and CrossFit coach who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome; a connective tissue disorder that manifests as lots of laxity in joints. She found that building muscle means that she no longer experiences pain when working out. “Doing CrossFit has really helped because it’s helped me build muscle around those joints. When I used to run I would get loads of pain because I didn’t have much stability. Now, I don’t suffer with that pain. I’m just in my zone and I’m doing it.” For Elise, the shared experience of training pushes her and makes her work harder than when training alone.

Umbro tells Harrison and Elise’s stories through its latest campaign – inspiring others to rethink how they train. Common Ground co-founder, Janice Carrie says, “We work with Umbro to tell real stories about real athletes, as when stories resonate it leads to connection – and we find we have more in common than we think.”

Helene Hope, head of global brand marketing at Umbro, said: “With Common Ground, we have found the perfect partner for our Training campaigns – they intuitively understand our brand ethos: real sport – less hype, no filters. We want to bring our collections and campaigns to life with real people and authentic voices. Working with two talented CrossFit athletes such as Harrison and Elise not only offers an interesting perspective on the benefits of training, but also allows us to perfectly showcase the multi-functional qualities of our Pro Training collection.”

The Pro Training campaign launches across Umbro’s social channels (, Instagram, and YouTube) week commencing 4th September, with Harrison’s story launching on 8th September and Elise’s story on 13th September 2023.

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