Multicultural hair care brand Mielle has signed a rising star in basketball, Angel Reese, as its new ambassador – the first beauty partnership for the athlete.
Reese is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) player and a member of the Louisiana State University (LSU) Lady Tigers, who was recently named to the US team roster for the 2023 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup.
The 6ft 3inch baller also featured in 2023’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
The partnership between Mielle and Reese will cover marketing, social media, events and a limited-edition product bundle.
The brand and the athlete said they’re aiming to bridge the gap between sports and beauty, with Reese having been outspoken about beauty and hair care brands missing out on opportunities in working with college athletes and athletes overall.
“Athletes are the ideal beauty icons and brand ambassadors,” said Reese.
“I put it out there that I wanted to work with more beauty brands, and I'm so excited to be working with Mielle!
“I’m a long time user and fan of the brand so this is the perfect partnership.
“I can’t wait to share more with my fans and introduce my new Mielle bundle. The last several months have been a whirlwind. I feel really blessed.”
“Angel is a rising star with bold beauty, confidence, strength and must-have edges who uses and genuinely loves Mielle products,” added Mielle's founder and CEO Monique Rodriguez.
“Angel’s fun personality and ability to connect authentically with her fans make her a perfect addition to the Mielle family.
“She is that girl and we are so thrilled to have her as our newest ambassador.”
Are athletes the new models?
Traditionally, the role of beauty brand ambassador has been reserved for models and movie/TV stars.
However, the cosmetics industry is increasingly tapping the power of activists, athletes and role models from different walks of life to promote their products.
Male sports stars have long been used by grooming labels to reach consumer fanbases, but the newest ambassador announcements from the sporting world have been women.
In addition to Reese for Mielle, Unilever’s personal care brands have been named as the official sponsors of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
The Unilever announcement was the latest of several collaborations between the worlds of grooming and women’s football.
Former Arsenal footballer Alex Scott, who now works as a TV sports presenter, was named the new brand ambassador for L’Oréal’s Garnier brand.
That followed 2022’s news that digital beauty pioneer Il Makiage would partner with Arsenal Women, launching a ‘Focus on My Game Face’ campaign, and Venus’ onboarding of England Lioness Lotte Wubben-Moy to tackle skin consciousness in sport.
US soccer star Megan Rapinoe, meanwhile, was onboarded alongside a line-up of ambassadors for Victoria’s Secret as part of the brand’s well-publicised 2021 shift in brand purpose.