Dwyane Wade Talks Brand Innovation and Product Development

NBA star turns entrepreneur with new product that enhances athletic performance

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MISSION was founded in 2009 by an elite core of athletes looking to create an innovation-led brand focused on solving performance problems for athletes. Pioneering a new product category, dubbed AthleteCare, MISSION uses science and real life insight from the world’s greatest athletes to create disruptive sports technologies that elevate performance, according to the company’s website, www.MissionAthleteCare.com: “We’re not just passionate about performance. We’re perseverance pioneers. Because like you—we find a way. A way to push a little harder. To move a little quicker. To feel a little stronger.”

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BlackEnterprise.com had an opportunity to catch up with one of the most revered athletes in the world, Dwyane Wade, to have him share highlights of his contribution and experience with the MISSION brand.

BlackEnterprise.com: As an ambassador and partner, what makes the MISSION brand different from your perspective? Why did you choose to partner with MISSION?

Wade: MISSION’s commitment to involve their partners in the product development and overall business was one of the most important factors in my decision. They listened to my needs and then matched new technology to ensure that I didn’t need to compromise in my training and competition.

What solution does your product provide and why are you so passionate about it?

Court slippage had been an issue my entire career. I remember all the games and frustration I had in high school and in college. I tried everything and nothing worked. As I evolved, my game is all about cuts and dynamic play. I needed a product that could ensure that court conditions would not affect my game. Court Grip™ is the answer.

Briefly share what the experience was like in the product development of Court Grip™?

I tested the final formulas throughout the 2011 season and was heavily involved in the final applicator design and functionality. It needed to be effective, easy-to-use, and give instant results. We nailed it. I’ve also been helping over the last two years on the marketing side with unveiling it to ballers everywhere and, of course, using it whenever and wherever I play. It has been rewarding to see the unbelievable adoption of the product throughout the NBA and at all levels of play over such a short period of time.

How does Court Grip™ contribute to the overall experience and performance of your game—pre, during, and post?

When I first put on Court Grip™ it cleans off the dust from my sneakers and helps reduce the build-up of dust while I play. This gives me better traction and grip on the court. I can cut and move without slipping, and that’s what I want.

What are the top three benefits that you endorse about your Mission product?

For Court Grip™ that’s easy: improved traction so you have the confidence to play your game, scientific testing that validates its impact on quickness, and its ease of use.

Regarding athleticism and entrepreneurship—how do you manage and balance being a successful business/enterprise owner and world-class athlete?

Balancing athleticism and entrepreneurship require teamwork from not only me, but from all my business partners. I can’t do this alone and it’s always great to be surrounded with people who have a shared vision for success. That brings results for me and my partners. I also take the lessons learned on the court into account as an entrepreneur. I approach every business decision or move like a play on the court.

How important do you think entrepreneurship is in strengthening the U.S. economy?

Entrepreneurship inspires and drives me. It keeps me motivated to step out of my box more and make a difference by contributing something brand new.

Roz A. Gee (@RozAGee) consults as The MediaMatch Maven™ of The Rated Gee Agency with service sectors in media relations, brand readiness, and speaking and training. Roz has masterfully mixed over 20 years of cumulative experience and has worked professionally for industry titans such as General Electric, AT&T, AOL, IBM, and Northrop Grumman. Schedule a complimentary analysis at www.MediaMatchMaven.com. You can also find her on Twitter (@RozAGee) and Facebook.