Sportswear Brands Should Use Female Athletes – NOT “Influencers”/Models – As Ambassadors
Here’s an article that was a long time coming. Females have always had a tough time getting their fair share of the ‘making a living’ pie in athletics and especially action sports. They are talented athletes, work hard, and deserve it all. Yet now they are losing precious budget to social media influencers whose idea of a passionate life dedicated to sports is usually hitting the gym a few times a week. Hey, not their fault, but they aren’t out there putting blood in the streets or breaking collar bones or waking up at 3:30am to fulfill their dreams. Adidas signing Kendall Jenner, +, +, is just one example. She alone has proven by her money grabbing mistakes (Fyre fest, Pepsi commercial, music icon tee’s, etc.) over the last few months what a joke this all is.
Volcom could be considered an even worse offender. They have a great female team of Coco Ho, Quincy Davis, Elena Hight, and Maud Le Car, yet threw what we’re guessing is a big chunk of change that could have been used to nab some more unsigned board talent (of which there is way to much of) to land… Georgia May Jagger as a Global Ambassador because she is Mick’s daughter and has near a million Instagram followers. Volcom’s slogan used to be “True To This.” Or maybe it used to be “Youth Against Establishment.” Who know’s because they haven’t been relevant in years partly due to following trends like this and losing their roots. Imagine this in an opposite scenario. Volcom’s 2018 collection being presented and modeled by Brooklyn Beckham because he’s jumped on a skateboard a handful of times. Nope. Wouldn’t fly. It’s a messed up world.
Annnnnyway. This all leads to just one of many articles out there written by professional rock climber Sasha DiGiulian that we’re guessing mimics the feeling of many female surfers, snowboarders, and skateboarders out there right now. Sierra Quitiquit posted an Insta earlier (below) echoing similar feelings as well.
Why do big athletic companies, like Nike, Adidas, and Reebok, often choose high-fashion models to pose as female athletes, rather than draw from the ranks of the numerous professional athletes they sponsor?
Here are just a few recent examples of this happening: Bella Hadid is the face of a new Nike campaign for the Cortez sneakers, originally designed for runners in 1972; Karlie Kloss models Adidas’ fashionable performance line, Stella McCartney; and Gigi Hadid plays a boxer for Reebok’s “Perfect Never” campaign. These images of female “athletes” suggest that it is more important that women look stereotypically feminine and lean than be able to perform at an elite level. This doesn’t happen nearly as often with men: sports brands seldom use male models as the faces of their fitness lines, instead opting for professional male athletes.
I find it insulting when major brands choose fashion models instead of real athletes. That tells me they value a certain look and body type over my own skill and the fact that I actually use their performance clothing to perform. Even on a simple marketing level, choosing athletes makes sense to me. Period.
Guess which athlete was just signed to @adidas ? Hint, she's not an athlete at all. @kendalljenner scored the campaign. While I understand Adidas' intention in targeting a new demographic, this one strikes a personal chord with me. Almost all of my female pro athlete peers and I struggle to find resources and support to pursuit our athletic goals and to stay in the game. It's pretty tough to see major endorsement dollars going to someone like Kendall, whom I'm sure is a lovely person but I wonder how many times she's dreamt of achieving athletic greatness or woken up at 3:30 to climb a mountain or train? Check out the article in my profile to read more. #realathletes #strongnotskinny