The Latest Trend in Sports Brand Celebrity Partnerships

March 22, 2016

We’ve seen it all before - sports brands partnering with the biggest professional athlete names to endorse their products. Michael Jordan, James Le Bron, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams - all of these names seem like the perfect role model to be launching the latest in new and innovative sports gear. But a new trend in sports brands has risen over the last year to help brands appeal to a broader audience and keep a head above competition - the use of celebrities and entertainers in partnerships.

The latest example is sportswear industry leader Nike, who have partnered with comedian/actor Kevin Hart, to release the brands first ever celebrity endorsed cross-training sneaker, the Hustle Hart. The idea behind the partnership extends from part of Nike’s mission statement that states “if you have a body, you are an athlete”. Hart has also been gathering momentum on his own social media accounts for his strict training routine, in-between a busy career of travel, late nights and hours on his feet. His new mantra of “no excuses, no days off” has learnt him a following of fans who are just as “inspired by his planks and pull-ups as they are by his stand-up.”

Another sports/celerity partnership success we saw last year, was that of Puma and Rhianna. While Puma have always been overshadowed by Nike and Adidas in the brand market, the latest collection of streetwear as part of the FENTY PUMA by Rhianna has been a high-profile win for the brand. With the latest range debuting earlier this year at New York Fashion Week, the partnership has reached broader audience (within the fashion community and Rhiannas fans) for Puma.

This trend in celebrity partnerships is a clever move from sportswear brands as not only does it give brands access to a whole new audience of fans, but a lot of athletic apparel is sold to consumers that don’t actually use it for athletic purposes (see Active Wear for another hilarious trend). This is a perfect example of brands truly defining each and every member of their audiences and adjusting their actions accordingly.

Source: Nike, Fortune, High Snobiety, Puma