On days after football games, players are found participating in an athlete recovery yoga class coordinated by Lululemon ambassador, Sarah Buchanan, holding poses to relax their bodies. East’s Head Football Coach and fellow Lululemon ambassador, Justin Hoover, uses his affiliation with Lululemon to work with Buchanan to organize the classes.
Lululemon, an international athletic clothing company promoting health and wellness, tries to stay involved in all parts of the community, from football players to yogis. Brand Ambassadors were developed to allow the company to connect with people in different parts of the community, Lululemon Town Center’s Assistant Store Manager Morgan Marlborough said.
“Our ambassadors are inspiring leaders, storytellers and doers from around the world,” Morgan Marlborough said. “They help us to keep our finger on the pulse of their communities and provide us with invaluable feedback so that we can improve and grow.”
The Town Center location chose Hoover as one of their five ambassadors to represent Lululemon in the football community.
After meeting and getting to know Hoover as he became a regular at the store, Marlborough said employees at Lululemon believed his core values, from integrity to collaboration, aligned with those of an ambassador. Plus, his connection to football players and young athletes meant he would make a promising brand ambassador.
“We have different ambassadors in different facets of the community, like Justin is in touch with football and young men, we have a couple [running] ambassadors, a yoga ambassador and a [training] ambassador,” Marlborough said. “We’re able to tap into different parts of the community.”
In addition to representing the company in a positive way through different activities whether it’s yoga or football, ambassadors test new products from socks to t-shirts for Lululemon and give honest feedback and areas for improvement.
According to Hoover, Lululemon wants to hear when their product needs improvement so they can change it to meet customers desires.
Varsity football player and junior Lee Marshall believes that Hoover represents their products well, especially the East Lululemon shirt they designed for Hoover to wear the first game. He thinks Lululemon made a wise decision in selecting him to be an ambassador because he is a well-respected coach in the football community.
“I think he’s a really good person and athletic [representative],” Marshall said. “He’s also a role model in the athletic world.”
Hoover wasn’t too surprised when offered the position, as the employees had been hinting at the idea of him representing that Lululemon location. He happily agreed, accepting the bag of products from pants to jackets Lululemon gave him.
While Hoover enjoys the free products from Lululemon, what he enjoys most is the people he’s met.
“I used to think the shorts were awesome and all of that,” Hoover said. “And now I’m way more intrigued by the community and people that represent Lululemon and so that’s what I’m way more proud [of] than the cool shorts.”
While most ambassadors hold their position for one to two years, Lululemon asked Hoover if he would continue for an additional two years after being an ambassador for a year in June 2019.. Hoover’s ambassador position will now end in June of 2021 and he will then become apart of their legacy ambassadorship.
Lululemon is still developing how their legacy program will work, but they are intending for it to be a way for ambassadors to stay connected to the company by collaborating on community fitness events when their ambassadorship ends.
Being an ambassador, Hoover has gotten an insight into Lululemon’s involvement throughout the community through local yoga and fitness events, and has used past and current ambassadors for different fitness, including yoga and pilates, instruction.
Through his ambassadorship Hoover has been able to make connections among different fitness studios across Kansas City. He’s improved functional fitness with Jason Bells at The Greater You as well as learned about relaxation with Wendy Zhu during yoga classes at her new studio Yoga Lily.
Whether it’s through a community wide yoga class, a 5K run, or providing ambassadors with brand shirts, Lululemon is always looking for a way to interact with community members.
“The whole idea is not really about the visual effect, not the body image,” Hoover said. “It is just about your best.”