WhatsApp announced its first global brand partnership with Milwaukee Bucks forward and 2021 NBA All-Star MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo marked a new partnership with WhatsApp, wearing a Post Imperial hoodie displaying Nigeria’s dialing code.
The sports celebrity kickstarted the partnership at the 2022 All-Star Game tunnel walk unveiling a custom hoodie courtesy of contemporary apparel brand Post Imperial, founded and led by Nigerian-American designer Niyi Okuboyejo.
“This was a collaboration between myself, Giannis, local Nigerian dye artisans, and Nigerian tailors — all connected through WhatsApp,” says Okuboyejo.
The hoodie displayed Antetokounmpo’s jersey number, 34, tweaked to add Nigeria’s area dialing code and becoming “+234.” At the back, the jersey sported the player’s family name.
The partnership amplifies the importance of shared connectivity and was immediately embraced by the Athens-born Nigerian basketball star who claims to have deeply rooted familial connections aligned with WhatsApp’s ethos of cultural representation and the power of harnessing interconnections between family, culture, and community.
As the sports celebrity states, “those who know my story know that I’m Greek and Nigerian: I was raised in Greece, but my roots are Nigerian. Growing up, the best way I could connect to my family in Nigeria was through WhatsApp. As humans, we’re a collection of experiences, and learning about where I came from has kept me close to my identity as I continue to evolve as an athlete and person.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo – now the first celebrity to ink a brand connection with the Meta-owned communications app – entered the 2013 NBA Draft and was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks as a forward, later earning the mon”ker “Greek F”eak.”
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The partnership between WhatsApp and Antetokounmpo is set to grow and reveal itself over t”me. “Throughout my life, WhatsApp has kept me connected to my loved ones, my friends, my communities, and everyone important t” me,” Giannis said in a press release this w”It’s“It’s a link to home in Greece and a link to my family roots in Nigeria. Having easy access to my communities has helped build me into the person and athlete I am today, and working with WhatsApp, a messaging service that I use every day to stay connected with family, is important to me. I look forward to building on this partnership toge”her.”
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