By Barry Janoff
January 15, 2013: Steve Nash of the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and MMA icon Georges St.-Pierre — both natives of Canada — will use their positions as equity partner/endorsers for Mission Athletecare to help launch the company's expansion into retail outlets north of the border.
Mission Athletecare has a full line of sports-care products, including the Enduracool towel, Court Grip and Power Grip, that were developed in conjunction with the company's roster of athlete endorsers and are available at some 20,000 locations in the U.S.
The New York-based company said it intends to launch in such Canadian locations as Foot Locker and Shoppers Drug Mart next week.
"We’re very excited about launching Mission Athletecare in Canada," said Josh Shaw, founder and president of Mission Athletecare. "The retailers and athletes we have are the best of the best in Canada. We've been overwhelmed by the response and the success of the Mission line of products after its launch in the United States, and have always envisioned bringing these ground-breaking products to Canadian athletes at our first opportunity,"
Although the marketing roles of Nash and St.-Pierre were not detailed, they have made personal appearances, appeared in multi-media marketing efforts and have been used in other activations in the U.S. by the company.
"Both Steve and Georges have played an important role in the development of these products, and now they will be instrumental in helping share these new technologies with their fellow Canadian athletes," said Shaw.
He said that more Canadian athletes could be added to the mix, which might open the door for players from the NHL, MLS, CFL or even Canadian-born Joel Anthony from the Miami Heat, who is a teammate of Mission Athletecare partner/endorser Dwyane Wade.
"While we’re very focused on the launch right now, we are considering the potential for adding one or two more Canadian athletes to the team in the future," said Shaw.
"Steve and Georges have played an important role in the development of these products, and they will be instrumental in helping share these new technologies with their fellow Canadian athletes."
Mission Athletecare, founded in 2009, has relied on athletes such as Serena Williams, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, David Wright, Mia Hamm and Gretchen Bleiler to not only work as marketing spokespersons but also as product developers and company partners in research and development.
Court Grip is applied to the bottom of sports shoes to reduce slippage and increase traction on the court. Power Grip is applied to the hands to improve the grip on basketballs. Enduracool is a towel that, when put in water, maintains a temperature of about 59 degrees and can be placed around an athlete's neck to reduce heat and body temperature.
According to Nash, "I've obviously taken a special interest in expanding Mission's reach to Canada and am excited that our Canadian athletes will now have access to these game-changing grip products."
Mission Athletecare has official alliances with the NBA, MLB and the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Assn.
"Being a part of Mission Athletecare is already a rewarding experience as we're able to help create new technologies that benefit athletes, but to be able to help the company expand to Canada is more than that, it's a passion of mine," Georges St-Pierre said in a statement.
Mission Athletecare was just named the Sports Marketer of the Year by the readers of NYSportsJournalism.
Mission Athletecare: Sports Marketer of the Year
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