Paralympics New Zealand has created a TV advertisement it's trying to sell in the hopes it will result in more Paralympians being considered for commercial opportunities.
PNZ believes the advertisement demonstrates how companies could use Paralympians to market their brand.
The ad, which was created by Saatchi & Saatchi, features four New Zealand Paralympians, Scott Martlew, Anna Grimaldi, Nikita Howarth and Corey Peters.
The goal is that a brand or organisation will purchase the ad and make it their own, adapting it to their campaigns.
Paralympics New Zealand hopes the ad inspires New Zealand businesses to consider increased diversity of inclusion of disabled people in their marketing campaigns and sport sponsorship choices.
A Paralypics New Zealand statement says, What's special about this ad is that it's not often that we see Paralympians in such advertising campaigns for big brands in Aotearoa. This is even though 1.8 million Kiwis tuned in to watch the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, as well as the hundreds of thousands who connected with their Paralympic heroes on social media during Tokyo 2020.
Fiona Allan, Chief Executive at Paralympics New Zealand says:
"We were really impressed with the commercial that had been produced. The idea came up as to 'why don't we make the commercial available to a company and seek to sell it?' As a charity we are always seeking innovative ways to raise much needed funds and we felt this was an exciting opportunity to do just that.
"We see this exciting opportunity as a win/win - Paralympians would appreciate the much-needed financial support and recognition from companies. Companies would benefit from Paralympians as great role models who can bring to life their focus on diversity and inclusion and their key messages to the community, whilst helping create a more inclusive New Zealand."
Many companies have an increasing priority on inclusion and diversity. Paralympics New Zealand hopes to see Kiwi Paralympians sought as brand ambassadors and included in their marketing campaigns and commercials. With nearly 25% of New Zealanders having a disability, visibility of disabled people, including NZ Paralympians is important. Future generations of disabled children must be able to see disabled role models, the statement said.
Scott Martlew, Para canoeist who appears in the ad says:
"Funding through sponsorship contracts can make all the difference to our performance levels in sport. It would be amazing to become professional, like many Para athletes overseas. You can see how the bar is raised when the sport is the focus, rather than squeezed in outside of work hours. It's a balancing act between working to get income and training as well. My dream is to be standing on the podium in Paris 2024. It would be awesome to be able to just focus on training.
"The ad looks amazing. I'm really looking forward to seeing it on TV. New Zealand's Paralympians are among the very best in the world - and they are just as marketable as any other athlete."