News 20.05.2024

Need to Know

Skims dresses WNBA superstars in new campaign, the Guardian Toad tackles dengue crisis in Peru and why long-term sickness is pushing British women out of the workforce.

Skims launches star-studded campaign to celebrate WNBA partnership

SKIMS partnership with WNBA, US

US – Kim Kardashian’s shapewear and clothing brand Skims is now an official underwear partner of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and launched a new campaign in May 2024 featuring basketball legends and rising stars as the league’s new season approaches. The ambassadors chosen include WNBA icon Candace Parker, second-round draft pick Cameron Brink, and All-Stars Kelsey Plum, Skylar Diggins-Smith and DiJonai Carrington.

Candace Parker, a three-time WNBA champion, shared her excitement saying: ‘I’m thrilled to be included in the first-ever Skims WNBA campaign alongside this amazing group of rising stars and all-stars.’ Cameron Brink added: ‘It’s truly a dream come true to be working with a brand that I love so much.’

Also featured is two-time WNBA champion Kelsey Plum, who says: ‘I love that Skims Fits Everybody is comfortable, without compromising on style.’ As seen previously with brands such as Prada dressing China’s women’s national football team and LVMH sponsoring the 2024 Olympics, athletes are the new rock stars, models and influential figures that brands are trying to enrol for more credibility and cultural relevance.

In Sports Rebranded, we previously analysed how sporting bodies and brands are cementing appeal among Gen Z with rebranding campaigns that celebrate inclusivity and the joy of participation.

Strategic opportunity

Similar to Skims partnering with the WNBA, can you explore official partnerships with sports leagues rather than single athletes? This could include becoming the official supplier or sponsor to enhance brand prestige and visibility

VML’s solar-powered Guardian Toad tackles dengue crisis in Peru

The Guardian Toad by VML, Peru The Guardian Toad by VML, Peru
The Guardian Toad by VML, Peru The Guardian Toad by VML, Peru

Peru – VML, in collaboration with Sapolio, has introduced the Guardian Toad, a solar-powered device designed to combat the dengue epidemic in Peru. The innovation disrupts mosquito breeding by keeping stagnant water in constant motion, making it inhospitable for mosquitoes to lay eggs.

Peru is experiencing its worst dengue crisis, with 80% of the population in the most affected areas lacking access to clean water, according to VML. The Guardian Toad, inspired by Sapolio’s mascot, autonomously agitates water using solar power, eliminating the need for batteries or electricity with the aim to provide a 92% protection rate against mosquito proliferation.

The device exemplifies climate-responsive design, addressing a critical public health issue with sustainable technology. This approach is particularly crucial in regions lacking infrastructure for traditional solutions. By using solar power, the device ensures continuous operation and reduces dependence on external resources. It not only protects against disease but also aligns with broader sustainability goals, showcasing a practical application of environmentally conscious design in crisis situations.

Strategic opportunity

Consider autonomous, solar-powered technologies for public health, environmental protection and resource management needs, offering solutions that are not only more sustainable but also infrastructure-independent

Manchester airport opens private Aether terminal for all passengers

Manchester airport, UK Manchester airport, UK

UK – Manchester airport’s new Aether terminal is set to redefine the airport experience, offering a thoughtfully designed, private space away from the main terminal, accessible to all paying travellers, regardless of airline or ticket class.

Launched by digital travel services business Cavu, Aether offers an elevated airport experience with seamless check-in, private chauffeur-driven transport across the runway, a curated menu by chef-patron Adam Reid and panoramic views of the runway.

Prices for using the lounge and its services start at £90 ($114, €105) per person, and booking will open at the beginning of June, for use of the private terminal from November 2024 onwards.

Post-Covid, airports are increasingly looking to Bring Humanity Back Into Travel, elevating pre-departure wellness, retail and leisure. Aether proposes a future when human-centric experiences will be balanced with profit-making ventures, offering relatively accessible airport experiences beyond the main terminal that take the hassle out of travel.

Strategic opportunity

As climate change makes international travel less accessible, consumers will want to make the most of the holidays they can take. Explore opportunities to democratise premium airport services, making them accessible to a broader audience beyond traditional elite travellers

Stat: Long-term sickness pushes British women out of the labour market

Photography by Angela Roma Photography by Angela Roma

UK – A May 2024 study conducted by Trades Union Congress (TUC) has highlighted a concerning trend of health-related work inactivity among British women, with 1.5m now out of work due to long-term sickness. This shocking figure represents a 48% increase in instances of long-term sickness among women between 2019 and 2024, primarily driven by conditions such as back and neck pain.

The TUC attributes this rise partly to longer waiting lists in the National Health Service (NHS), which has been facing understaffing and underfunding. The strain on the NHS has coincided with a doubling in hospital waiting times for treatment, with a 15% increase in those waiting for musculoskeletal care.

In a statement, TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak said the country must improve the quality of work so that women ‘are not disproportionately trapped in low-paid, insecure jobs’. He added: ‘But instead, the government is failing growing numbers of women who are unable to work because they can’t access the right treatment or support.’

In our Work States Futures macrotrend report, we previously discussed how businesses must redesign their workplaces due to employees’ increasing need for personalisation and flexibility.

Strategic opportunity

Provide options for remote work, flexible hours, ergonomic furniture and job-sharing to help employees, especially women, manage their health better. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial for those dealing with chronic conditions such as musculoskeletal issues

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