We’re all for female empowerment. Which is why we have an opinion on popular models representing sport brands.
Although product endorsement opportunities with the Kardashians or Hadids are most definitely beneficial to any brand (because, let’s get real here, we couldn’t ignore these families even if we tried), are they right?
And we ask this not just in the business sense – although we think Adidas making Kendall Jenner its new female model is not in fact in the best interest of the company because where’s the authenticity in that? Is it right that female models who have ample modeling opportunities in different apparel sectors are utilizing their exposure to score phenomenal opportunities in sports?
And this is not to discredit the hard work that models and influencers put into building their brand (for as much as we love to hate the Kardashians, we’re still talking about them). Kendall is great at what she does. But do we see her as the new face of Adidas? No.
In fact, many female athletes have spoken out about the fact that they cannot seem to represent any of the athletic brands they wear. Silvana Lima – a pro surfer from Brazil – says, ““I don’t look like a model. I’m not a babe. I’m a surfer, a professional one… When it comes to women, [the surfwear brands] want both models and surfers. So if you don’t look like a model, you end up without a sponsor, which is what happened to me.”
And the problem that we’re having with this whole situation is that it is not just a “body image model vs. athlete” type of discussion. It is much more than that.
Let’s look at a few male endorsers for various sport brands. Take Nike and Cristiano Ronaldo for LeBron James, for example. Real athletes. So why did Nike put Victoria’s Secret model Karlie Kloss as the face of its campaign a few years back?
Our take on this? Women athletes aren’t taken as seriously as their male counterparts. And although that’s no surprise, it is clear as day how this stereotype is detrimentally impacting their careers. Global sports brands don’t see female athletes as beneficial to their brand – they won’t give them enough exposure. Because who watches women’s sports, right? (NOTE: that was sarcasm)
It’s time these brands take note of this clear injustice and LEARN to do the right thing. Kendall Jenner may make us want to stop by the nearest Victoria’s Secret during their semi-annual clear-out sale. But will her prancing around in Adidas sneakers make us shop there? Not a shot.
Information gathered from Racked.