In advertising, securing a famous personality’s endorsement always helps to boost your brand’s street cred. They are easily recognisable figures, and having them endorse your product or service adds that extra sense of reliability and brand association.

Apart from celebrities or influencers, brands have also been churning out athlete-led advertisements as part of marketing efforts. After all, sportsmen and women too are famous personalities, and command a huge following which can be tapped on. Inspired by the recent SEA Games and Team Singapore’s successes, here’s our list of 7 brand ads featuring our own Singapore athletes.

1. Joseph Schooling X Milo (2018)

joseph schooling milo
Image adapted from:
Joe Kang

When we think of Singapore athlete-ad endorsements, one that easily comes to mind is Milo and swimming sensation Joseph Schooling’s collaboration. Other than just posters and video commercials, our dear Schooling’s face was also plastered on the packaging of all Milo products.

Of course, this collaboration works quite well because of the qualities that both Milo and Joseph champion (pun intended). Milo positions themselves as a sports drink that provides people the required nutrition and energy to be healthy and excel at sports. 

Naturally, this gels seamlessly with the many sporting successes that Joseph is known for. Hand-in-hand, the endorsement conveys to the public the message that “if you drink Milo, you’ll be as successful in sports as Joseph Schooling”.

On the whole, the endorsement has been a great match-up, and the choice of choosing Joseph is definitely a plus for Milo!

2. Amanda Lim X SodaStream (2021)

Amanda Lim SodaStream swimmer
Image adapted from: Sodastream Singapore

A lesser-known brand that has actually been engaging a fair number of Singapore athletes across various sports is Sodastream, which specialises in machines that transform normal drinks to carbonated ones.

Themed “Two Things I Can’t Live Without”, Sodastream’s series of athlete-led commercials features footage of them in action for their various sports, and ending off with them taking a sip from a Sodastream drink. This is accompanied by a voiceover of them talking about what they love about their sport, and finally stating that their sport and Sodastream are two things that they can’t live without.

In terms of being a good fit, we say that the partnership between Sodastream and our athletes makes sense. After all, Sodastream’s product is a beverage play, and so linking that with the need for hydration that’s associated with sports makes sense. In addition, using the simple tagline “Two Things I Can’t Live Without” across their ads and also being recited by the featured athlete promotes brand recall, like KFC’s Finger Lickin’ Good and Nike’s Just Do It.

3. Loh Kean Yew X Seiko (2022)

Loh Kean Yew Seiko
Image adapted from: @lohkeanyew

For watch brands, athletes are actually a popular choice for brand ambassadors. For example, you have Roger Federer as the face of Rolex, and Lewis Hamilton as the face of Tag Heuer. Following this trend, Japanese watchmaker Seiko recently unveiled badminton star Loh Kean Yew as a brand ambassador to endorse and promote Seiko’s Prospex range, which is a collection of sports dive watches.

Overall, it’s a simple partnership in concept, but the collaboration works because Kean Yew is a young and upcoming star, embodying the vibrant and energetic vibes that Seiko would like to associate its sports watches with. 

4. Charmaine Soh X SilkproSG (2017)

charmaine soh SilkproSG
Image credit:

When it comes to sports, sometimes it’s not just about dominating the competition, but also looking good while you’re at it.

In this spirit, haircare brand Silkpro engaged our very own netball star Charmaine Soh in an ad for its VitAir shampoo series. All in all, it’s a relatively simple ad to showcase how using Silkpro will give you light, flowing hair. 

Kudos to the team too for a good choice of model, taking into account how the tagline ‘light as air’ seems almost synonymous with what netball players need to be when jumping for the ball.

5. Quah Ting Wen X Samsung (2021)

Quah Ting Wen Samsung
Image adapted from:
Samsung Singapore

Another recent brand-athlete pairing unveiled last year was our very own swim star Quah Ting Wen with smartphone brand Samsung. As part of their marketing plan to promote their newest smartphones, Samsung launched the ‘Switch Stories’ campaign, which involves various notable personalities talking about how they had benefited from switching from other brands’ phones to Samsung.

In this case, Ting Wen said she loved the Galaxy S21’s cleaner interface and powerful features such as having a better camera than her last phone. Linking this with her fame as a national swimmer, she commented how she was able to use her new phone to take higher quality photos of videos of her swim training and races, which she and her coaches use to analyse her strokes and techniques to improve her performance.

The ad works quite well especially given how each of the ‘Switch Stories’ profiles highlighted the ways in which the devices helped them to improve their tradecraft. 

6. Shanti Pereira X Boss (2021)

Shanti Pereira Boss ad
Image adapted from:

One up-and-coming star athlete who has been taking up more brand endorsements is track athlete Shanti Pereira, who recently featured in Hugo Boss’ collaboration with Russell Athletic, launched in 2021.

Decked out in the collection’s baseball-inspired fashion range, the advertisement aptly brings the both of them together in almost of a ‘meeting of the minds’ – on one hand, exuding the bold and confident style of the Hugo Boss brand, and on the other, pairing it with Shanti’s continued rise and journey to make a statement in the world of athletics.

7. Yip Pin Xiu X Love, Bonito (2021)

Yip Pin Xiu Love, Bonito
Image adapted from:

Rounding off our list is paralympian swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, who was featured in a recent editorial by homegrown fashion brand Love, Bonito.

As a person with a disability, Pin Xiu had to overcome many odds in both her personal and sporting life. Needless to say, she greatly excelled in these areas, becoming a highly-decorated swimmer with many achievements such as having won multiple golds at the Paralympics. 

It’s in this spirit that makes her almost the perfect candidate to be featured in a Love, Bonito ad, given how she is somewhat of the perfect embodiment of the brand’s values of female empowerment and championing diversity.

And just as Pin Xiu stated in her IG post, having persons with disabilities being featured more often in advertisements is definitely a step forward in the right direction for brands. In her words: “it doesn’t have to be inspiration, brave or courageous, it’s just being human.”

Singapore athletes in brand advertisements

When it comes to sportsmen and women, the most common type of endorsements would presumably be sports brands like apparel and equipment; it’s almost a no-brainer in fact.

That being said, there are also plenty of opportunities for non-sports brands to pair up with athletes, and all it takes is to choose the right athlete with the relevance and qualities that you want your product or service to be associated with.

Cover image adapted from: @lohkeanyew, @v_shantipereira


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