Q&A: Hyperice’s Athlete and Brand Ambassador Programs Amplify Message and Drive Reach for Global Rebranding

In this Q&A with Hyperice VP of Marketing Andrew Samson, learn how athlete and brand ambassadors drove reach and resonance during the company's recent global rebranding.

Female Hyperice athlete brand ambassador using Hypervolt 2 product.

Global high-performance wellness brand Hyperice may be best known for keeping the world’s elite athletes at peak performance. The company counts superstars Naomi Osaka and Patrick Mahomes among its key brand ambassadors, athletes and investors. Recently, Hyperice launched a complete rebrand, five new product innovations, its largest global brand campaign to date, and new global positioning as a high-performance wellness brand.

Hyperice’s VP of Marketing, Andrew Samson, chatted with Greenfly about the company’s growing endorsed athlete and brand ambassador programs. And how relationships with those influencers have boosted exposure and authenticity on social media for the brand’s core message, helping audiences unlock the best version of themselves. 

Interview edited for clarity and length.

Greenfly: So Hyperice just launched a complete rebrand campaign, “Do What You Love. More.” What went into that campaign, and what direction is Hyperice headed in for the next year and beyond?

Andrew Samson: Since I started [at Hyperice] in November of 2020, one of the biggest undertakings that we had was to figure out how we could future-proof the brand. We had been a brand that had been around for ten or so years, and I think now is really just the time, with a launch of five new products and some other things that were happening more broadly with the business, to look more holistically at where we want it to go for the next ten. 

We underwent a complete transformation of our entire brand identity, all of our digital platforms, our website and our app. We launched our largest ever global brand campaign featuring 20+ of our athletes on our roster, with additional support from pretty much everyone who is involved with Hyperice in some way, shape, or form — including our team and league partners. All of these different work streams led us to September 7th, which was our launch day, but really now all of the work has just begun to carry that forward.

What audiences are you trying to reach now?

Historically, Hyperice has been born and bred in the locker room. We’re a brand that’s served elite athletes at the highest levels through our relationships with the NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball, PGA TOUR, and more. In many ways, we’re seen by even everyday consumers as really being something that’s only for elite athletes. 

With this new positioning and our new brand line, “Do What You Love. More.”, it’s really around the idea that no matter what it is that you love to do, whether you’re the most elite athlete, or you’re an NBA player, or you’re working from home, our products can really help to unlock the best version of yourself to help keep you doing more of those things that you love.

What are your goals with your sponsored athlete and influencer programs, and how do they help you reach your audiences differently than some of your more traditional channels?

Because our products have been seen on the sidelines or with elite athletes from the very beginning, a lot of the sponsorships that we do have — and really, we don’t even call them sponsorships, they truly are partnerships — they’re some of probably the most organic that exists from any brand that’s out there. That’s because these athletes are all naturally using our products anyway. But yes, we do have our athlete relationships, some of whom are investors actually in the company. And then also, more traditional influencer relationships, whether that’s in the fitness space, in the music space, just anyone who has more broad cultural relevance or reach. But I think that those really help to showcase the product. 

Previously, Hyperice relied heavily on in-person experiences to drive home details around how our products are used, like at events or trade shows or marathons or things like that. But now, with COVID, we lean even more heavily into our athlete relationships and our influencer relationships to showcase product usage in real life. And have that coming to life through these influencers, these ambassadors, and have that be presented via social has been something that’s worked quite successfully for us to showcase the right situation of when and how the products are used. And ultimately, that translates back to the end user.

How does social media play into your ambassador strategy, and how important do you feel social media is today to the brand?

Critically important. It’s the window into the brand. I think that there are two areas of any brand that need to be invested in, especially when you’re an up-and-comer like ours. One is Google search, and the other one is social media. I think for anyone that’s interacting with a brand for the first time, you’re probably either going to look them up on Instagram or type them into Google. For both of those things, and especially with our relaunch, we’re really trying to be even better positioned in social in particular, as already we were a content-led company. 

For us, social is one of the most critical components of our organic strategy. But paid is probably even the most important for us. Leveraging some of those great assets that would work really well in our organic channels and then also being able to leverage those and tweak those for paid, we’ve found to be very, very impactful.

How are athletes and brand ambassadors helping to tell the Hyperice story?

Ultimately, they’re using the product day in and day out. So they’re helping us tell the story by just adding a level of authenticity and authenticating it. I think for us, what’s really interesting, and part of the shift that we’re trying to make, too, is, it’s not just about the 60 minutes that Patrick Mahomes is on the field on Sunday for the NFL. It’s about how he is then using our products the other six days a week, 300 and some odd days a year and around when he actually has a game to be able to showcase that. So him elevating that, telling those stories, sharing that, gives more life to our product suite and also showcases that it’s not just a thing for game day. That it can be used for warm up, it can be used for post-activity recovery, and it can be used to improve your overall mind and body any day, any time of the week.

What was the process like to start using Greenfly and onboard athletes and ambassadors?

Once the team at Greenfly was able to prepare us with the right materials and share how impactful this would be and how much of a value add it would be to our whole process of interacting with and communicating as it relates to content, it became something that was very easy for us to be able to turn on. And I think we’re seeing the impact of that now when you have a launch like we did, and we have literally every single athlete posting it. We have every single team, league, etc., commenting on it, we’re sharing assets, we’re sharing files. And we’re able to garner millions and millions of impressions from that with the idea around the power of our partners. And a lot of that power of our partners was enabled by Greenfly.

How do you typically collaborate with an ambassador around digital media? 

If it’s any of our top-tier athletes, typically, we’re leveraging any of our shoot days to create multiple pieces of content with them. Whether that’s a longer-form hero piece, additional product content for our app, PR interviews, other specific kinds of niche things that we’re doing. So you name it, we’re probably creating it again as a company that very much relies heavily on content. 

As far as more just standard day-to-day asks out to athletes and brand ambassadors, oftentimes those are product-related. We’re asking our influencers for unboxings, we’re asking for tutorials, we’re asking just for the overall share of voice within their channels almost. And a lot of times, again, it’s just happening organically. We have Peloton instructors like Alex Toussaint, who is one of our Hyperice ambassadors; on his Instagram story, right before he’s getting on to do a live Peloton class, he’s using the Hypervolt. And he would be using that anyway, even if we didn’t have an official relationship with him. So that’s not an ask to say, “Hey, Alex, make sure every time before you get ready to get on the Peloton, you’re using the Hypervolt.” That’s just part of his normal routine. So he’s just doing that. And so for us, again, those things happen. We’re very fortunate that they happen very naturally. 

But of course, for things like new products or whatever else, we love when people do unboxings or share a product and showcase the tech and talk about how it’s impacted them and all of those things. And so more recently, that’s been an ask for us given we just launched five new products.

What teams at Hyperice get involved with all of this? 

Despite the fact that we’re pumping out a lot of stuff, we actually have a relatively small team and some great agency partners as well. So a lot of the pieces from a content standpoint are done by our internal content team as well as our internal social team and then working closely with the rest of our digital team and our editorial group to plan out when things go live. But it’s very much a cross-functional effort also working closely with a partnerships team who’s managing a lot of these athlete or team relationships — and working very closely with our PR team or our media team to make sure that we’re able to amplify. 

Overall, how has collaborating through Greenfly to create content impacted your relationship with your ambassadors?

It’s just made things a lot easier. It’s much more clear on what we need, what we want. Minimizing the risk that attachments won’t open or a text won’t go through. And being able to see within the platform all of the details around those things and to be able to remind and do all of that has been extremely beneficial. And I feel like, in a way, it almost keeps it away from the personal relationship we might have via text where I think, again, oftentimes the follow up in those instances can become more of a nuisance and can almost be detrimental to a relationship. Whereas with Greenfly, it’s only helped to enhance the relationship because we’ve been able to keep it within the platform, and also, everyone just now understands and is familiar with it. And is able to use it very effectively.

What do you think has been the impact on the Hyperice brand and your storytelling?

Again, it’s allowed us to streamline our ability to really drive resonance and reach. And for us, we have a lot of partners — all who are very top-tier: NBA, NFL, MLB, PGA TOUR, and elite, elite, elite athletes. The impact of this in terms of streamlining that process to get them to create and share content has been huge because, ultimately, that’s what really helps us to be seen more authentically, more effectively. And I think that is evidenced by our brand launch, where we certainly were able to drive that reach by getting a ton of our athletes to engage.

Can you share any examples of ambassador content that has performed well?

So with some of our golfers ahead of the U.S. Open, we put out a request through Greenfly — for all of our golf PGA TOUR athletes, Tony Finau, Cameron Smith, and Sungjae Im, to create some content as they were heading out to the event. We knew that posting during the window of the event from Thursday to Sunday would be difficult. But a lot of them are getting on planes and traveling there. And so we made a request to showcase that journey and how our products were coming along with them to the tournament. And so we got some great assets of all of our guys. Then they shared on the channels. 

Tony Finau, as an example, walking out of his front door with the Normatec, which is one of our products, the carrying case and his luggage in tow. And we gave him a caption around how he had Hyperice by his side to kind of be ready for the tournament or something along those lines. And so I think that, again, was a great mix of thinking editorially around a sports moment, leveraging our ambassadors to connect closely with their audiences, when a lot of attention was on them because it was a major tournament. And then also really authentically routing back to our brand and product because those guys are bringing that with them anyway. We were just asking them to turn the lights on a little bit and share that with the world. And that all happened with Greenfly. 

To wrap things up, what advice would you give to another brand looking to start a similar ambassador program?

I would say try to have as much figured out internally as you can, because I think a lot of it for us is we know exactly what it is we’re trying to achieve and what we want to do. And I think that starts ultimately with us before we go more broadly to begin outreach. So it’s less around, “Hey, what do you think about this?” And instead, we are being more confident in our strategy to propose that back to athletes or ambassadors.

Photo: Courtesy of Hyperice 

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