Using your voice, your name and influence as an athlete to make a change.
This is what the Spanish NBA star Pau Gasol did with his ‘Open Letter About Female Coaches’, where he doesn’t just demand equal treatment and respect for the potential 1st female NBA head coach Becky Hammon but also for an active and social spirit on and off the field to keep making the game grow.
Brands are people, characters and opinions. Values reflected in every action that allow someone or something to position in the marketplace with the potential connection to thirds.
What athletes believe, do and feel when they are not in their sports lives is what makes them more human and appealing to sports industry stakeholders. Women’s football players have many common elements with the global movement for equality, let’s work on that.
Many sponsors aim for the physical appearance side of women’s football athletes. I don’t blame them, everyone decides how to do their job. I suggest athletes answering the following questions to keep the ball rolling in the good direction:
- What off-the-field stuff makes you special?
- Where could your current and potential audience connect more effectively with you?
- How are you going to get involved for what you care about?
Pau Gasol’s values as ambition, consciousness and honesty are authentic from the moment he demonstrates it everywhere and frequently.
Pau isn’t influential through this letter because he is a star, he is a star because of his authenticity.
Photo credit: John Locher/AP Images