It’s Time For Sportswear Brands To Rethink The Way They Advertise

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Companies want us to buy their products. So what do they do? They produce different advertisements and campaigns. For a business or brand to be known then that is the logical thing to do in order to showcase their products, service, etc. to the public.


An article was recently published on Racked that was about advertisements entitled “Want to Sell Me Sportswear? Show Me an Athlete.” Think about that statement and about how many times you have seen sports ads with actual models and not athletes. There have been numerous commercials, billboards, ads that have models “pretending” to be athletic, which most of the time may come off awkward.


So why it is that top sportswear brands such as Nike and Adidas use high-fashion models to advertise their products instead of using professional athletes?


Two recent examples are Bella Hadid becoming the new face of a Nike campaign for Cortez sneakers and her sister Gigi playing a boxer for Reebok’s “Perfect Never” campaign. The images for these ads make a proposal that “athletes” are supposed to have the cliche female body, with a flat stomach and lean legs, which for almost all females is highly unrealistic.


Many athletes find the use of models for these ads offensive because it shows that the brands have in mind certain look and body type. The companies are focusing too much on the look of the model instead of using real athletes who actually are wearing the clothing.


One other major draw towards using models instead of athletes is that some of the models have a huge social following. If you compare Gigi Hadid’s 34.9 million Instagram followers to Ronda Rousey’s 9.7 million you can see in that aspect why Reebok wanted to use her for the boxing campaign instead.

But, by showcasing these models as athletes it takes away the authenticity of the brand. The companies are selling these clothes, shoes, and performance accessories to athletes, not to the models. They should be showcasing the ones who are working hard every day while wearing apparel. Because of these advertisements, real athletes are straying from supporting these athletic brands.


Not all of the companies are getting it wrong. Under Armor just released a campaign starring Misty Copeland, a ballet dancer, and Lindsey Vonn, a ski racer. Campaigns such as Under Armors are showcasing a realistic view of female athletes. They show the physical strength of an athlete with their true beauty and power.


It is truly time for many athletic brands to rethink their view on what a “fit” body looks like. The authentic female athlete body goes through hell every day and looks beautiful while dong it.

Lover of all things fashion from day one. While everyone else was reading long novels you could catch me browsing through the style portion of any magazine. I'm a reality show junkie in all forms and will endlessly watch The Food Network while shamelessly throwing in some reruns of Keeping up with the Kardashians.

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