It's nothing new for athletes to be sponsored by sports brands, but it's relatively rare for the same opportunity to be extended to professional dancers. Misty Copeland is famously a spokesperson for Under Armour, and her participation in the "I will what I want" campaign helped catapult ballet into a position of visibility. Copeland's unmistakably athletic body shows how hard ballet dancers train to achieve their goals.
Now, in a new partnership, the dancers of New York City Ballet will have their active wear sponsored by PUMA. It feels timely, as "athleisure" stays trendy for everyone and dancers are increasingly adding athletic gear to their arsenal of leotards, tights and practice skirts. Additionally, thanks largely to Copeland's prominence, ballet has enjoyed some pop culture recognition in the last few years, making the glamor and prestige of a NYCB endorsement beneficial for PUMA.
Apparently the partnership extends beyond stylish workout clothes, too. In a statement, PUMA says the two companies will "explore ways for PUMA to support a variety of NYCB initiatives, including the ballet company’s education, audience development and dancer health and wellness efforts."
We're all for investment in dancer health and wellness, and if a global sports brand wants to get involved in audience building for a ballet company, well, we're excited to see where that might lead. In the meantime, keep an eye out for NYCB dancers in upcoming PUMA marketing campaigns.