Sport captivates the public like little else can - and athletes are the centre of that emotional appeal. For sponsors - forging connections between a brand & an athlete enables that brand to promote its values in association with the athlete while also humanizing the brand's story.
Take C&C client Kia Nurse for instance. Kia joined the Jordan family in 2019 making her only one of three women to sign an exclusive deal with the brand. Kia’s resume shows no surprise as to why the brand and athlete relationship sync. Dynamic & elite are two traits that connect Nurse and the Jordan brand. Both the best at what they do, with a lot of personality. This year you’ve seen Nurse rock Jordan brand shoes in a way that encompasses her personality #shoegamestrong, with the mindset to be the best.
What it means for Kia to be part of the Jordan brand. “As our game continues to evolve, everything around it has to evolve, as well. Jordan Brand has really stepped up to give us new technology and designs. MJ’s legacy allowed so many of us to follow our dreams in basketball. It’s an absolute honour to be a part of this family — one that represents so many great things about culture and being the greatest you can be.” The sky is the limit for the WNBA star.
Cimoroni & Company's Russ Gray spends his days creating meaningful connections between brands and athletes - something he is passionate about. "The 2020 WNBA season gave this great partnership an opportunity to marry performance and personality. Jordan's ability to create shoe design after shoe design that showcased what Kia is all about, while also physically enabling her to dominate on the court, was truly unique. From 'Dunkaroos' to 'The Hammer', Kia's personality shined through her kicks every day."
The Arctic Winter Games is a high-profile sport competition for northern and arctic athletes. The Games create opportunity and strengthen sport development while promoting the importance of sport and building partnerships with a focus on promoting culture and values. CF Management’s, Brooke Voigt has been named the 2022 Games Ambassador, whose impact has played a significant role as a professional snowboarder during the beginning of her career.
General Manager of the 2022 Games, Kim Rizzi sees Brooke as a “prime example of dedication to sport and athletic excellence making her a wonderful role model for AWG athletes and all youth of the circumpolar north. This partnership showcases our pride in Brooke and the strength of the Arctic Winter Games legacy as we prepare to shine together.”
CEO of CF Management, Connor Finlay weighs in on what he believes the trajectory is heading in terms of athlete partnerships. "I believe athlete and brand relationships will only become more and more vital to a brand's marketing mix in the years to come. With the current situation with live sports and COVID-19, I believe brands will take a deeper dive into working with athletes to engage with their target demographic and audience on a more personal level. With brands having limited opportunities for onsite activations, I believe leveraging athletes' true engagement with their fans will only become more prevalent. Finding new ways to connect with brands and tell positive stories will bring a new light to more and more athletes and their sports. We're proud of the partnership we just completed with The Arctic Winter Games and Brooke. A positive and new way to tell an impactful story over digital for the next two years."
Athlete and brand partnerships add authentic exposure and awareness that improves brand image, creates further connections, engages consumers and creates a real differentiator for a brand. Brands working with athletes are only going to enhance the way consumers perceive those companies and influence purchase tendencies. Results which will continue to be game changing.