UK – Swimwear brand Speedo is taking steps to make swimming more accessible through its Swim United initiative. The initiative will work with 35 schools across London’s most socially and economically disadvantaged areas, providing activity packs and intensive two-week swimming courses for 1,200 students. Alongside this programme, the brand has launched Swim Stories – a video series spotlighting the diversity of families in the swimming community.
Created in partnership with social enterprises Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) and the Black Swimming Association (BSA), the initiative aims to make swimming a more equitable activity. Alex Goat, CEO of Speedo’s creative partner Livity, says: ‘Speedo is widely renowned as the leading consumer brand in swimming and, as such, knew it had a responsibility to spread the message that swimming truly is for everyone.’
By offering both tangible support and greater representation in this area, Speedo sets an example to other brands hoping to improve their approach to Inclusive Fitness.
Brands and businesses in the wider health and wellness space should take cues from Speedy. Work with local community groups to broaden access to diverse methods of staying mentally and physically healthy
Pangaia introduces a carbon-neutral food line
Pangaia Superfoods, US
Pangaia Superfoods, US
New York – Sustainable fashion company Pangaia is expanding its brand portfolio with a functional food line known as Pangaia Superfoods. Its first product is the Super Super Bar, a nutritious and carbon-neutral energy bar made using responsible ingredients and biotech processes.
Much like the company's scientific approach to clothing, which employs specialists from several industries, the Super Super Bar was engineered through a global collaboration between scientists, farmers, nutritionists and culinary experts. It includes a variety of high-fibre, gluten-free and nutrient-rich ingredients such as prickly pear, goji berry, sprouted red quinoa and sugar alternative Incredo, which uses 50% less sugar without losing taste or sweetness.
‘We are driven by a vision of 'hi-tech naturalism' across our products. We look to bring the brilliance of nature complemented with today's food science to create solutions that promote health – for us and our planet,’ explains Ira Laufer, CEO of the company's Pangaia Health arm. As the worlds of food and fashion continue to converge, Pangaia’s foray into this industry also represents a cross-sector approach to Functional Foods.
Brands wishing to enter the food market should make sure that their new products are consistent with their brand values. Take inspiration from Pangaia's carbon-neutral approach
Match wants to connect single-parent daters
US – Recognising the challenges that some single parents face on the dating scene, dating companyMatch has unveiled new app Stir specifically for this group. The app presents users with people nearby that have logged similar interests, while also allowing daters to chat without having to match with each other. A key feature for its single-parent users is Stir Time, which invites users to publish the dates and times they’re available on a virtual calendar, helping them to synch with other users.
Another differentiating factor is Stir’s focus on each user’s life stage rather than age. Through these features, the app caters for the lifestyle nuances of parents wanting to date. Dinh Thi Bui, vice-president of new verticals at Match, says: ‘Single parents can often feel like outliers, and they are often overlooked on mainstream dating apps.’
By creating an app centred on the realities of parenting, Stir is easing the experience of connecting with others through simple, but effective, digital tools. Looking ahead, dating brands must prioritise the different needs of uncoupled communities – beyond single parents – through innovative services.
Stir by Match
Dating platforms should evolve beyond age, location or beliefs to focus on specific lifestyle nuances. Consider, for example, the dating needs of people working in industries with varied working patterns
Stat: TV shows are fuelling sports fandom
F1 Virtual Paddock Club in partnership with Zoom
The power of behind-the-scenes tv to influence sports fandom has been noted by market researchers Morning Consult. According to its recent research, 53% of Formula 1 followers in the US say that the Netflix programme Drive to Survive influenced their fandom.
In the past two years, the number of Americans who consider themselves to be fans of Formula 1 has risen by a notable 33%. Drive to Survive, a docuseries that gives viewers an inside look at the racing world, is reported to have played a large part in the sport's upsurge. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Formula 1 followers under the age of 45 said that the programme had played a role in their fandom. Last season, races on US channels ESPN, ABC and ESPN2 averaged a record-breaking 934,00 viewers, up 39% on the previous season in 2019.
The surge in viewership demonstrates how powerful the Digital Fandom market can be, as well as how documentary programming can help build storytelling and interest in wider sports or hobbies.
Consider how sports or industries trying to attract or diversify their fans can use fly-on-the-wall footage or short-form social media clips to entice and engage digitally native viewers