ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Though thousands of men participate in sports and exercise each day, they still do not see themselves represented in the athletes trending in social and traditional media. In fact, new research from Dove Men+Care confirms nearly 7-in-10 men want to see everyday athletes better represented in sports media, so the brand is shifting conversations from the professionals to the everyday athletes whose stories deserve to be celebrated.
With the call for inclusivity at an all-time high, the brand has signed three everyday athletes to represent Dove Men+Care Sportcare, a new line of bodywash, shampoo and deodorant products for active men. Fans may immediately recognize these athletes’ names – they share them with some of the most famous stars in basketball, football and baseball – but these everyday athletes prove that even the untold stories of care in sports can inspire and encourage others.
“Dove Men+Care is committed to promoting a culture where men can confidently show care as a proud part of their masculinity, and many real athletes do that every day on the court, in the gym and at home with their families,” said Amy Stepanian, marketing director of Dove Men+Care for Unilever. “When we created a product line for athletes, we wanted to address the needs of every man who defines himself as one, not just those who have been elevated up the ranks of their sport. We have signed on amazing athletes, who deserve the same level of praise and attention because of the way they show care, as any professional that might share their names.”
These athletes include:
- Chris Paul (San Diego, Calif.): Through biking, hiking and running, this Marine Corps Veteran connects with other men. To empower his community, he created a support base for men to help each other through their fitness journey and hold each other accountable. Chris is inspired by his family of nine and stays motivated knowing he does not want to miss a single moment of his kids’ lives.
- Sean Williams (Farmingville, N.Y.): Sports and exercise are more than just an activity for Sean, they are a way for him to help his community. As a volunteer firefighter, he is always on-call and ready to respond at all times. Sean started The Dad Gang, an organization that tackles stereotypes of what it means to be a Black father and challenges these stigmas through events centered around physical fitness. Since 2016, The Dad Gang has created a legacy of care in his community.
- Alvin Suarez (New York, N.Y.): Growing up visually-impaired, Alvin was told that he wouldn’t be given chances to succeed in life, especially as a great athlete. However, when Alvin was in school, he discovered Goalball, a sport for the visually-impaired that relies on ear-hand coordination. Goalball has given him the confidence and endurance to pursue other sports and keep up with his twins around the house, which is hopes inspires others.
To announce these new partnerships, Dove Men+Care has teamed up with ESPN anchor, Kevin Negandhi, who understands the importance of celebrating diverse perspectives, skills and ability throughout the world of sports.
“I’m excited to partner with Dove Men+Care to focus on the stories of everyday athletes. While the majority of what we cover and discuss focuses on the few athletes who make it as pros, there are amazing stories to be told across the country, that often go uncovered. The athletes of Sportcare prove that every athlete can inspire by showing extraordinary care,” said Negandhi.
Throughout their ongoing partnership with the brand, these athletes will be featured as the faces of the new product range in campaign imagery, will have the opportunity to share their stories during marquee sports conferences, and will explain why it is so important for all athletes to be represented in the media and in marketing, particularly for products that are designed for active men.