Smart Company: Why this health food brand is getting skin in the game at the Australian Open with Angelique Kerber - January 2017

Melbourne goes tennis crazy every January when the Australian Open hits the city, but local brands have the long game in mind as they jump aboard a big year for sports marketing.

This year will see new spaces for companies to form sporting partnerships, with the inaugural season of the Women’s AFL league, as well as a rebooted national netball competition.

While the idea of athlete brand partnerships might conjure images of expensive Olympic brand endorsements, smaller local businesses are acutely aware of what a sporting star can do for their business.

Local health food brand Slim Secrets identified this opportunity and jumped on it, recently inking a partnership deal with the world’s number one ranked female tennis player Angelique Kerber, who secured a first round win at the Open on Monday night.

It’s a deal that Slim Secrets founder Sharon Thurin sees as being about much more than Melbourne Park.

“With what we’re doing, we’re looking at someone that could grow our brand globally,” Thurin tells SmartCompany.


“We’re not a Kellogg’s or a large brand, so it is a challenge—but we’ve been on the shelves for 10 years … our goal is to stay there,” she says.

Thurin founded Slim Secrets as a hobby from her home more than 10 years ago, having previously worked as a weight loss and wellness coach. In 2015, the business was turning over more than $2 million annually.

The goal of the partnership with Kerber is to interact with fans on the ground by connecting them directly to the star and the source. Meet and greet competitions have been set up as part of the deal, both at Melbourne Park for the Australian Open and in China later in 2017 for the China Open.

“Ideally we’d also love to look at different types of brand ambassadors in different fields, [including] celebrities, and we’ve already done social influencers … I think it’s important to look at different sectors of lifestyle,” Thurin says.

SOURCE: Smart Company

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