This tennis superstar is a trendsetter and a go-getter.
In an exclusive story with Good Morning America, fast-food salad chain Sweetgreen announced its newest partnership with four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, making her both the first national athlete ambassador for the company and its youngest investor.
“Naomi represents not only a great tennis player, but so much beyond that. She stands up for what she believes in — a lot of social justice issues — and is really into speaking to this next generation in a way that still has humility and is connected to culture,” Sweetgreen co-founder Nathaniel Ru — also chief brand officer — told the outlet. “She just really aligns with our values at Sweetgreen and is passionate about it.”
In her new role, Osaka hopes to use her image and influence to change the way both brands and athletes advise on nutrition for the general public.
“Anyone that knows me knows I’ve been into @sweetgreen for a while (I eat it minimum three times a week when I’m training/at shoots),” she shared in an Instagram post, “which is why I’m excited to share that I’m their newest partner and youngest investor ? more on how we’re redefining fast food together coming soon.”
View this post on Instagram
She also issued a formal statement echoing her excitement about her newfound partnership.
“I’m proud to join forces with Sweetgreen to change the way the world thinks of traditional fast-food sponsorships. As an athlete, what I put into my body directly correlates to how I perform and eating delicious, healthy foods fuels my daily routine. I’m excited about the work we’re doing together to create a positive impact.”
Osaka began her partnership with Sweetgreen starting a conversation around how the company can come together to “shift the paradigm of food sponsorship and create a more positive impact on really how the next generation thinks about healthy eating,” according to Ru.
He also shared that as part of the new partnership, Osaka will be getting her own custom meal — which was created in a Sweetgreen culinary lab test kitchen alongside her sister — added to the Sweetgreen menu exclusively through its app.
“She’s passionate about food and cares about nutrition a lot, especially as it relates to her training,” Ru said to Good Morning America. “So a lot of it was very familiar to her and really kind of fun [to watch her] connect deeper with Sweetgreen inside the culinary lab and working with chefs — it was a very collaborative process.”
In honor of their partnership, Sweetgreen and Osaka have also joined forces to support The Asian American Foundation as it strives to advance equity.
With this being Sweetgreen’s first athlete-backed promotion, Osaka will help the brand connect with other athletes in the future for more opportunities.
In addition to Osaka’s investment in the company, Sweetgreen is also backed by Jay-Z and Roc Nation’s venture platform, Arrive.