Shiseido Taps Six Athletes for Sun Protection Campaign

Shiseido is hoping to harness the power – and popularity – of athletes.

For its new Sun on the Run campaign, it’s recruited six athletes, including softball player AJ Andrews, pickleball player Anna Leigh Waters, golfer Lily He, climber Colin Duffy, breakdancer Victor Montalvo, and tennis player Sabrina Santamaria, known as the “Ultimate Sun Pros”.

The new sunscreen, Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 60+, is designed to perform better as the wearer sweats, and to not be heavy or sticky on the skin.

The athletes will be on tour with Shiseido throughout April to August, with activations such as influencer events where attendees can learn from the pros in Atlanta, Florida and California.

Athletes have become incredibly popular ambassadors for beauty brands – L’Oréal-owned hair care line Carol’s Daughter tapped tennis star Coco Gauff and nail care brand Sally Hansen has recruited basketball player Jared McCain, while sporting events like Wimbledon have become enormous cultural moments. That hasn’t eluded Shiseido; Kenya Eldridge, vice president of integrated marketing, cited a Deloitte report that predicted revenues from women’s elite sports would surpass a billion dollars this year.

“People tend to associate athletes with performance and discipline… that’s aspirational, but it’s also relatable to everyday people.” said Eldridge.

For softball player Andrews, the partnership is a natural fit, as she’s both an athlete and a beauty enthusiast. “I sweat a lot out there when I’m playing,” she said. “But whenever I post a video, people will always say, ‘Drop the skincare routine!’”

Shiseido is also banking on the paradoxical relatability athletes have. Despite possessing skills and abilities the average consumer likely won’t, fans at home can watch their progress and struggles, and follow their career through wins and losses. “There’s a passion there… you see them overcome adversity.” said Andrews.

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