- Talma Gotteiner
Launching SportsGrow: Personalized Branded Online Stores for Olympic Athletes
Sports connects people. Sports is one of the favorite pastimes in the world! Sports is also one of the few entertainments in today's world that allows people of completely different backgrounds to connect at a certain point in time and share experiences of joy, anger, disappointment, enthusiasm and deep sadness.
And who enables it? The same athletes, who work and train all their lives to produce for us, the spectators and the fans, the same sports dramas, those climaxes we love so much.
From left to right: With the amazing athletes Alex Shatilov, Linoy Ashram and Lee Kurzits
The marketing world realizes how much sports fans like and admire their super athlete. The thousands of followers of the broadcast competitions are the ones that enable the athletes to become strong brands over time. Serena Williams, David Beckham, Michael Jordan and others are admired figures who promote themselves not only through the court or field, but also by promoting business, selling brand merchandising and building an iconic and cultural image that allows them to continue to shine even after the end of their sporting career. It allows the fans to identify with the values that athletes represent: excellence, achievement and adherence to the goal!
Last June, Forbes International published the 100th highest-paying athletic score, with Lionel Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar opening the first ten, and finishing the first ten - American basketball player Kevin Durant.
In Israel this phenomenon is less widespread. Few athletes have succeeded in breaking the boundaries of the field and managed to brand themselves over time, outside the sports arena in which they engage.
Now, a new initiative, the first of its kind in Israel, intends to do just that and with the Israeli Olympic athletes, who bring great respect to Israel in the big international competitions throughout the year.
The new initiative "SportsGrow" is currently being launched, and includes, in the first stage, five branded Internet stores based on five Israeli Olympic athletes: Linoy Ashram, Lee Korzits, Alex Shatilov, Yaakov Tomarkin and Hanna Knyazyeva Minenko.
From left to right: Lee Kurzits, Linoy Ashram, Kobi Hadad CEO of Business Grow, Gili Lustig, secretary general of The Olympic Committee of Israel and Alex Shatilov.
The goal of the project is to enable outstanding athletes to enjoy being admired characters and role models, to build themselves as a brand and create an opportunity for fans, large and small, to be in direct contact with their esteemed athlete. The venture will allow athletes to set up their own personalized online store with branded personal products. These will help them expand their audience of followers while allowing fans to order products and feel that they are partners to the success of the athlete and above all - to position the athletes as leading brands over time.
The innovative venture is voluntarily led and managed by a company called "Business Grow" that specializes in developing digital tools for business management. The company has developed a unique marketing model, which includes the establishment of the store, construction of the logistical and commercial infrastructure, delivery of products to the customer's home and customer service.
During the launch event, Kobi Hadad, CEO of Business Grow explained that Israel's top athletes are on the social networks and are watched by hundreds of thousands of Israelis and fans around the world in aggregate. The new venture will enable Israeli and overseas sports fans to directly support their favorite Olympic athletes, to purchase from among the branded products that the athlete will put on sale, and ultimately to feel a partnership in their success.
Olympic athlete Alex Shatilov, who performed three times at the Olympic Games, said that he was pleased to be chosen as one of the five athletes to enter this unique project that is supposed to increase awareness to Olympic sports and Olympic athletes and constitutes an entry into the world of personal branding. Moreover, it's an extraordinary experience to the world of innovation and is a very challenging project with great responsibility.
Olympic surfer Lee Korzits, four times world champion, said that the online store gives her the opportunity to connect people to her world in a unique way that exposes her to many fans in Israel and abroad, that she represented as an international athlete. She also stated that she believes that the products that she chose personally will touch people, and that they will express their support and identification with her in return.
Clockwise from left: Linoy Ashram, Alex Shatilov and Lee Kurzits
The branded products, will be priced 49 - 149 between NIS and include a range of products from wine bottles designed by the athletes themselves to branded shirts and clothing accessories for athletes.
The five Olympic players chosen by Business Grow in the first stage are:
Lee Korzits (35) Olympic windsurfer - 6th place in the London 2012 Olympic Games. 4 times World Champion (an achievement no Israeli athlete has ever come across) and 1 Silver medal in the European Championship.
Alex Shatilov (32), Olympic gymnast - Participated in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (8th place), London 2012 (6th place) and Rio 2016. European Championship medals: 1 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze.
Yaakov Tomarkin (27) Olympic swimmer - London 2012, 7th place in the final 200 meters back. Rio 2016. European Championships: 1 silver medal, 2 bronze medals, 2 silver medals at the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore.
Hannah Knyazyeva Minenko (30), Olympic athlete - London 2012, 4th place in the triple jump. Rio 2016 5th place. World Championship: silver medal in 2015. European Championship: silver medal in The Netherlands 2016.
Linoy Ashram (20) - A rhythmic gymnast and member of Israel's Olympic team - World Championship 2018, a silver medal in the all round competition as well as 1 silver medal and 3 bronze medals in personal exercises. European Championships: 2 bronze medals in personal exercises. World Cup 2018: 6 gold medals, 11 silver medals and 5 bronze medals.
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