WhatsApp and Giannis Antetokounmpo's New Partnership Amplifies the Importance of Shared Connections

The Milwaukee Bucks forward speaks to the power of staying in touch and unveils a custom hoodie with Post Imperial.

Sports
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WhatsApp has announced a partnership with Milwaukee Bucks forward and 2021 NBA All-Star MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The partnership ushers in a new chapter of local connectivity for the mobile messaging app. With more than 2 billion users in over 180 countries, WhatsApp has radicalized modern-day communication and community-building. As WhatsApp’s first global partner, Giannis Antetokounmpo speaks to his deep-rooted familial connections and the myriad relationships that inform his present-day accolades and celebrity; humility, in the eyes of Antetokounmpo, is an award presented through community.

WhatsApp Brand Partnership Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks Forward NBA All-Star MVP NBA All-Star Weekend Cleveland

Giannis Antetokounmpo, born to Nigerian immigrants in Athens, Greece, entered the 2013 NBA Draft and was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks as a forward, later earning the moniker “Greek Freak.” Antetokounmpo’s alignment with WhatsApp exemplifies the ethos of cultural representation and the power of harnessing interconnections between family, culture and community:

Milwaukee Bucks Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

“Those who know my story know that I’m Greek and Nigerian: I was raised in Greece, but my roots are Nigerian. Growing up the best way I could connect to my family in Nigeria was through WhatsApp. As humans we’re a collection of experiences, and learning about where I came from has kept me close to my identity as I continue to evolve as an athlete and person.”

The 2022 All-Star Game tunnel walk kicked off the partnership, with Antetokounmpo unveiling a custom hoodie courtesy of Post Imperial, the contemporary apparel line led by Nigerian-American designer Niyi Okuboyejo. The hoodie’s front panel sees Giannis’ jersey number, 34, updated to “+234,” the area code of Nigeria, followed by his family name on the back. “This was a collaboration between myself, Giannis, local Nigerian dye artisans and Nigerian tailors — all connected through WhatsApp,” says Okuboyejo.

Stay tuned as the partnership between WhatsApp and Antetokounmpo continues to unveil itself over the coming months.

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