Dove launches 'Rep the Rivalry' campaign for March Madness
today Mar 11, 2019
March Madness is almost upon us, and Dove is taking the opportunity to promote unity.
The Unilever-owned beauty giant's Dove Men+Care division has teamed up with fashion designer Don C. to launch a series of new unifying jerseys in honor of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) US college basketball tournament, which is known for being responsible for some of the most deep-seated rivalries in the sport's history.
The first limited-edition jersey in the collection blends design elements from multiple teams along the iconic North Carolina Tobacco Road, a 10-mile stretch that connects four major university teams. The custom shirt incorporates elements from each team's heritage and culture, in one vintage-inspired design. Two further rivalry jerseys will be released over the course of the next few weeks.
Dove has also joined forces with basketball greats Jay Williams and Antawn Jamison to inspire fans to #ReptheRivalry this season, in a move that will see former opponents don their jerseys to pay homage to their rivalries.
"I will always remember the thrill of playing against my team's biggest rival," said former national champion Williams in a statement. "Rivalries in sports are what drive us to come back to the courts again and again. It's what we all have in common. Regardless of which side of your own Tobacco Road you fall on, I hope to see you donning your jersey in celebration of unity this season."
The jersey launch follows research by Dove Men+Care that found that 98% of men believe that sporting experiences are enhanced by a positive culture. "By creating jerseys that unify fans in a clear way, Dove Men+Care aims to celebrate what brings fans together, rather than what keeps them apart," reads a statement from the brand.
This is not the first time Dove has gotten used March Madness to open up the conversation regarding male attitudes and emotions -- last year saw the brand recruit the former professional players David Robinson and Shane Battier to recreate its "Real Strength Manifesto," in an effort to convey the impact that fans' support can have on performance.
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