Meet 2XU: Cracking the Code on Athlete Endorsements
(Reading time: approximately 4 minutes)
2XU is all about enhancing human performance or ‘Human performance multiplied’ as they proudly state on their website. They want to help athletes win and are doing whatever it takes to accomplish this.
2XU is clawing their way to the top and becoming a household name in high-performance athletic apparel. This is due to the fact that their products speak for themselves. There’s a science to every product they create, they are engineered and tested, and they continue to innovate to improve comfort and performance. This has been an incredible factor to their ongoing success in landing elite athlete endorsements.
2XU is worn by multiple world champions, endorsed by sports institutions all over the world, and praised by professional athletes from all disciplines. In this Hubba Featured Brand series, we look into how important it is to see a brand’s products on sports heroes.
We spoke with Natasha from 2XU about landing elite ambassadors and how they crack the code on athlete endorsement in the fitness category.
Becoming a household name in high-performance apparel
The growth of sportswear has been explosive over the past few years. It’s mostly due to a spike in an overall wellness trend and the fact that average consumer is buying casual activewear. There’s a massive demand for functional sportswear.
2XU has been securing Olympians, sports teams, and professional athletes to wear their garments let, right and center. As it stands, 2XU is being worn by more than 60 teams in the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB.
2XU, an Australian company, started in 2005 and over the years the brand has evolved into including other categories including running and cycling. The brand stays competitive with their products but never releasing a new garment into the market unless it serves a purpose, enhances athletic performance, and falls into one of their main categories.
Your product has to perform. It has to back up your claims in order to secure top athletes
If you’re not quick on your feet, you’re basically out of the fitness market – @2xuCanada
2XU engineers products with a single-minded goal of best equipping the athlete so they feel more prepared, more race ready, and more capable than their competition. However, all of this means nothing if 2XU’s products don’t back their claims. They have to walk the walk.
Highly technical apparel brands must have to have a product that speaks for itself. You can’t hype up your product and say it could do wonders unless it’s backed by facts and truly field tested.
More so, the average customer (and athlete) comes to 2XU knowing the benefits of compression. They know what their body needs. Any product that 2XU introduces has to improve or enhance the athlete’s performance in one way of another, whether you’re a pro athlete or a hobby runner. Each product has a specific purpose.
Relying on athlete feedback and staying on top of fitness trends
Natasha noted that 2XU likes to stay on top of trends but tries to make sure they aren’t just selling a pair of ‘trendy looking’ tights. They’re selling a pair of tights that will help you recover faster and enhance your blood flow. Products that do something.
Innovation is the key to any brand, especially in the sports industry when things change overnight.
“We want to make sure that we have a new story, a new product for each new season”, says Natasha.
How do you continue to innovate in fitness? It’s important for brands to rely on their athletes to give feedback – the good, the bad and even the ugly. Remember that your athletes are the ones who are out in the field, they know what works and what doesn’t. Athletes can test your product and provide extremely valuable feedback on technical fabrics, wearability, comfort, performance, fit and design. Taking athlete feedback and integrating it into your product can be a huge asset to your brand and product development.
You need to target major athletes to be able to win your category and establish brand recognition.
Winning over your category and finding partnerships with mutual benefit
Overall 2XU has an impressive number of athlete endorsements and consumers who back their brand. As Natasha states, “It’s a pretty competitive environment, if you’re not on your toes, you’ll fall behind.”
In fact, just recently 2XU announced a partnership with Matt Duchene, a Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist and National Hockey League player for the Colorado Avalanche. In regards to Matt Duchene being the newest brand ambassador and global face of ‘2XU Hockey’ 2XU says, “Matt encompasses all of what we stand for as a brand: Heart, passion, and love of what we do everyday. Make sure to follow this guy as he’s going to make some great noise for us in the marketplace and within the hockey community.
It seems the feeling is mutual between Matt Duchene and 2XU. Duchene stresses, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a hockey player, skier, basketball player, football player, and beyond, compression is so important for your next game, training session or recovery. Anything I’ve tried on from this brand has been amazing, and I believe in these products.
It’s so important to find ambassadors that embody your brand. “I believe in @2xucanada’s products.” – @Matt9Duchene
I asked Nikki Beal, Managing Director for 2XU, if she would share some wisdom around landing elite athlete support and tips for upcoming sport brands who are looking to breakthrough in the industry. Nikki mentioned, “Elite athletes all over the world are attracted to our brand as we offer a product difference in the marketplace to help them achieve their best from pre game warm-up to post recovery. You need to have a point of difference that an athlete or the general public can feel for them to believe in a brand.”
We wish you and your team all the best and can’t wait to see you thrive in the fitness space!
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