In the first episode of "Breaking Boundaries," a new content series from Bleacher Report and Wrangler, Detroit Lions wide receiver Danny Amendola and champion bull rider Sage Kimzey compare notes about their careers—and the serious injuries they've endured along the way.
Striving to distill Wrangler's "cowboy cool" ethos, the guys chat for three minutes-plus, sharing tales of pain and triumph in the clip below. Their talk turns TMI real fast...
Amendola: "I catch a ball … and my elbow pops out of the socket, and my triceps tears off, and my arm is, like, dangling behind my back…"
Kimzey: "My sophomore year of high school, we were at the big finals, and I got stepped on ... My calf was just as big around as a balloon. They went in, cut my calf open on both side from my knee all the way down to my ankle to relieve all this pressure."
Um … ouch? We'll buy your jeans, Wrangler, just make it stop!
Actually, the guys are likable as hell, with compelling stories from the rodeo and gridiron that convey how much they love what they do and the personal sacrifice and agony it takes to reach the top.
Their banter vividly captures the rough-and-tumble vibe Wrangler's traded in since 2004's iconic "Ride," refined through more recent campaigns such as "In Case Things Go South" and "Wear With Abandon."
For "Breaking Boundaries," the clothing brand and Bleacher Report "looked for commonality between mainstream sports and rodeo cowboys, and centered in on the willingness to throw yourself into the arena of competition with no fear, despite there being plenty to be afraid of," Becky Mason, executive director of Playmaker, B/R's in-house agency, tells Muse.
"This partnership exemplifies the opportunities that arise when cowboys of all types embrace adventure and extreme courage, and we hope that those who watch it feel inspired to take on challenges with new life and energy," Mason says.
Episode 1's emphasis on injuries represents an "unexpected and unprecedented approach" to storytelling that should cut through the clutter to deliver a transcendent message, she says.
So, what's next for "Breaking Boundaries"? Maybe a live feed from some bronco buster's knee reconstruction surgery?
"Cowboy culture is something we'll be exploring together over the course of the year" in future episodes, Mason says. "We may not do this exact execution again, and actually have a pretty wide variety of manifestations of this idea. But I can say that we'll continue to profile how the athletes that B/R's audience loves exhibit the brand values that make Wrangler a special partner."