Wednesday July 1, 2020 ~ CANADIAN SPORTS BUSINESS
by Mary Brooke, editor ~ West Shore Voice News
Today on Canada Day, ROYALE® announced to their retail following through email that they are proud to be partnering with Canada’s Athlete of the Year, Bianca Andreescu.
“Bianca embodies all the same qualities that make us proud to be Canadian – strength, dedication, kindness, and sportsmanship, on and off the court. That’s why she’s the perfect brand ambassador for ROYALE®,” it was stated in email on a national holiday today.
The original announcement in mainstream media was made June 23, with Andreescu on board with the corporate giant to ramp up to Canada Day presence in a co-branding manner. And with ‘first name only’ power, to boot.
Transmuting sport into commerce during a pandemic:
Andreescu brings power to her shots with more focus and strategy than other tennis pros. This aggressive yet somehow elegant approach to the game seems to line up with the prestige brand of toilet paper and facial tissue that Royale has built.
From a business strategy perspective, Royale has taken that same tack … grabbing an opportunity that presents itself. Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic in March of this year, the most highly publicized retail product by way of consumer demand was toilet paper. Having adequate supply of that bathroom product on hand appeared to represent a sense of security — that essential things would not run out during a time when there was even confusion about how to go grocery shopping.
Capitalizing on TP popularity:
Early on in the hunkering down phase of the pandemic when hoarding was widely seen, toilet paper (aka TP) was a coveted product.
Royale is now capitalizing on that by nabbing a top sports star to lead this next phase of their marketing in what is an interesting two-track marketing pathways — the high-level world of pro sport and celebrity as well as a simple statement of their products, itemized to retail consumers as bathroom tissue, paper towel, facial tissue and napkins.
Further link-up with popular music:
Probably few would be paying attention to the latter without the first, particularly youth, who are being included in a wide marketing net linking up Andreescu’s same — simply by her first name ‘Bianca’ — with the power of music playlist giant Spotify. Which in turn boosts exposure for artists in the music industry.
This sees Andreescu emerging as an economic driver in her own right.
Environmental movement takes a back seat:
Paper products are enjoying a resurgence thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of the need for greater sanitizing of surfaces in households, workplaces and public spaces.
Until COVID hit, disposable paper products — while used and popular — had probably suffered a dip in sales revenues in recent years due to the massive movement away from use of one-time disposable products.
For a while at least there will be less guilt for using disposable paper napkins and paper towels for cleaning. In fact people are thankful for these sorts of products as part of cleanliness during the COVID-19 scenario.
Few people right now are worrying about the garbage disposal aspects of paper products at a time when hygiene and surface cleaning are literally a matter of life and death.
COVID opportunity for Andreescu:
From a celebrity career standpoint, this marketing development dovetails nicely the young tennis star who experienced a bit of a forced slowdown in the first few months of the 2020 season, including the Australian Open, due to her knee injury from the 2019 WTA Finals. She was unable to defend her title at the Indian Wells Open until the tournament and the next several months of the season were cancelled due to the pandemic.
“I’m so excited to be partnering with a brand like ROYALE®, that has such deep and proud Canadian roots. I look forward to celebrating Canada Day together and representing an amazing Canadian company, in the months ahead,” Andreescu said last week. “Through the partnership, my coaches and family will join me in celebrating our Canadian pride and representing Team ROYALE® at matches around the world.”
Today on Canada Day the 20-year-old tennis star was featured in a Q&A on Sportsnet. Andreescu went pro in 2017.