Throughout his basketball career, Giannis Antetokounmpo has made the Nigerian diaspora proud. In a new partnership with WhatsApp, the NBA star is representing his homeland to the fullest.
Antetokounmpo has joined forces with the global messaging app as its first-ever global partner, according to Adweek. The first-of-its-kind deal was publicly debuted during the All-Star Weekend when he sported a hoodie designed by Post Imperial — founded by Nigerian-American designer Niyi Okuboyejo — with “+234,” Nigeria’s international calling code. To further bring in the display of his heritage, the back of the hoodie replaced his Greek last name with his Yoruba one, “Adetokunbo.”
— Giannis Antetokounmpo (@Giannis_An34) February 21, 2022
“Throughout my life, WhatsApp has kept me connected to my loved ones, my friends, my communities and everyone important to me,” Antetokounmpo said in a statement, according to Adweek. “It’s a link to home in Greece and a link to my family roots in Nigeria. Having easy access to my communities has helped build me into the person and athlete I am today, and working with WhatsApp—a messaging service that I use every day to stay connected with family—is important to me. I look forward to building on this partnership together.”
“Giannis’ success is fueled by the deep relationships he has in his life, and it’s been an honor to hear that WhatsApp has helped keep those relationships strong throughout the years,” WhatsApp head of global brand and integrated marketing Vivian Odior said. “We’re excited for Giannis to be WhatsApp’s first global brand partner. Giannis is one of the billions of people who use WhatsApp every day to stay connected with friends and family, and his story is a perfect example of why we do what we do every day.”