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Market the RIGHT Thing
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Big week this week. For sports, for people, for all. Earlier this week Jason Collins made history as becoming the first openly gay athlete on a major U.S. sports team. Go Jason go. Not for being different or being unique, but for being you. Isn’t this what we preach on BTB? It sure is — each brand, athletes included, needs to be open and honest and the rest will fall into place. Be sure to note that this announcement of sorts isn’t one that will go unnoticed, especially with brands. Because an announcement like this comes complete with a marketing opportunity. Great for brands, but only if they capitalize on the right message and execute it correctly.

Even in a world as advanced as 2013, there are still questions about how advertisers should handle a message about sexual orientation. There’s no playbook, there are no rules, and quite honestly it’s a little bit brand gut that will steer each representative in the right direction. The important key is to actually not talk about Jason’s sexual orientation, because that’s really not where the story is or the opportunity. So instead of dissecting it or highlighting it, brands need to understand where the power in him being a spokesperson lies. And that’s not with his sexual orientation, but instead with the fact that he is the first. The fact that Jason is a strong and confident human being is where success will be found.

What better spokesperson could brands have right now other than Jason? An elite athlete that is so comfortable in his own skin that he became transparent and real to his audience. There really isn’t a better opportunity out there than Jason right now. The fact that key attributes can be highlighted and truly deemed real are beyond what many brands try to create with all their spokespeople. But today, the day belongs to Jason, to a real person that understood his power as a brand and took the initiative to be first in being honest and open. Brands that support him, and do it correctly, will be able to talk about individuality and authenticity. What great brand wins.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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