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  • Alexander Preece

Glossier's game changing WNBA partnership

On Thursday Glossier became the first official beauty partner of the WNBA. The make-up brand that began in 2014, announced the partnership by dropping two new products and a new video featuring eight players from the WNBA in its new campaign Body Heroes.

​The partnership has got everyone talking, so I delved into looking at a few of the key takeaways.

A personal narrative

Living and playing in the Wubble, a place designed to be isolated, players captured their beauty routines via self-shot content which allowed everyone to get an exclusive behind the scenes look into the players lives, routines and thoughts on beauty. This approach not only delivered an intimate connection between the players and viewers, but also showed the power of using user generated content to deliver a personal narrative.

Using athletes over influencers

Its been a constant discussion in sport about whether brands should use real athletes in their marketing or bring in model/actor/sport influencers to star in the work. The debate can centre on a number of elements - can the athletes perform/act, can the athletes gain us the reach required, can we get the time we need with the athletes and will the athletes feel relatable to our audience? Depending on your objectives, the answers to these questions will differ. For Glossier, the answer pointed to using the WNBA players. They delivered authentic content, provided reach and relevancy to drive talkability and shared real insights into their daily lives to enable the audience to connect with them through shared experiences.

Aligning your values

The WNBA and its players have always seen to be a leading voice in society, but this year it became more apparent than ever. Players regularly spoke out about social justice issues, dedicated the season to Breonna Taylor and protested against one of the team's co-owners who had criticized the Black Lives Matter movement. Glossier embraced these actions and they become a clear reason for the collaboration. SVP of Marketing of Glossier, Ali Weiss said, 'We've found a group of women who have used their voices and bodies to drive change in their sport and in the world: the women of the WNBA. They’re a community with a long history of championing equality and challenging the status quo, and watching them lead by example on and off the court in 2020 has been nothing short of awe-inspiring.'

I don't think this will be the last we will be hearing about this partnership, it feels like it could turn out to be one of the most important and interesting partnerships of 2020.

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