Empowerment is perhaps becoming such an overused term in marketing as âauthenticityâ.
When it comes to either, however, it can become apparent pretty quickly which brands work and which just knock down good copies.
Ever since LeBron James and Maverick Carter launched their Uninterrupted media business, the idea of ââempowerment has been at its core – in particular, the idea of ââempowering professional athletes to express themselves and tell their stories, with the freedom not to be portrayed as one -dimensional. Whether it’s programs like “Who’s Interviewing Who?” Or sponsored podcasts like Kneading Dough, the branding strategy has always been a criticism of the Shut Up And Dribble crowd.
Uninterrupted has grown by leaps and bounds, and this week it takes it to the next level with a new collaboration with Nike. The partnership not only includes an Uninterrupted brand Air Force 1 sneaker, but also a new collection of clothing including a hoodie, shorts, hats and socks, available exclusively at Uninterrupted’s new online store on the 7th. October.
Maverick Carter says the expansion into retail also represents an expansion of how Uninterrupted sees its role in promoting empowerment. âWe started with athletes, but we want to empower everyone, and what we’ve created has resonated around the world because the idea of ââaccountability is universal,â Carter tells me via email. âWe create a real emotional connection with our audience and our consumers. They know us and what we stand for, and we want to know them better. We use products and clothing as a vehicle to strengthen that connection, especially with something like this AF1 that can be personalized and used as a platform to share a More Than story.
The timing of the announcement conveniently suggests that the empowering version of Uninterrupted is more than a marketing slogan. News broke on Monday that California Governor Gavin Newsom had signed a bill on the LeBron and Carter show. The shop this would allow varsity athletes to hire agents and be paid for sponsorship contracts.