Progressive brands should enter the “para-verse”

In the metaverse, you leave reality and entertain yourself.
In the para-verse, you get real and seek to do good.
In the para-verse, you get noticed - by your consumer, your company, your colleagues and the community.

What is the para-verse? The para-verse is my playful rebranding of the universe of para-sport. A place of unlimited possibilities, tremendous inspiration and life-defining values. A world where progressive brands that really care about their purpose can make a disproportionate impact.

If you want to inject your brand with unadulterated inspiration, pure values and limitless storytelling, para-sport is for your brand. It gives you a unique shortcut to building brand equity and delivering brand purpose.

Para-sport can turbo-charge your brand through 3 key dimensions
Para-sport is the epitome of inclusivity. Of course, you think about abilities, body shapes, ethnicities but think about age for instance: you can start para-sport in your thirties and become a champion - a feat that is not possible outside of para sport.

Para-sport is egalitarian. I sponsored and attended grassroots para-events - they are the only places where you will see Hannah Cockroft, 7 times Paralympic gold medal winner, compete with beginners - all in the same race, chatting and befriending.

Para-sport is exciting. When Hannah Cockroft reaches 20miles/hour on her wheelchair, takes the bend at full speed whilst edging competitors - Wow! Just Wow!

Para-sport is for progressive brands
It is for brands that “get real”. Para-sport is real life. Life where anything can happen to anyone. Life where a little baby girl called Hannah Cockroft suffers 2 heart attacks in the first 24 hours of her life. Life where accidents happen. Life where fragility exists.

It is for brands that want to do good. Literally in para-sport, brands can change people’s lives. Think about the last time £5K were spent on a PR event or for “micro-influencers”. The same 5K could have bought a competitive wheelchair to an athlete - maybe their first ever, the one they could not afford, the one that will start an incredible journey. Imagine the story you can tell from this. Imagine the potential to mobilise internally and externally. Imagine telling your colleagues how you are literally changing lives.

Finally it is for brands led by courageous brand builders. Para-sport is still a rough, pure product that needs shaping. On the one hand it means the values shine brightly, the talents are amazing down-to-earth characters - and the cost of entry is affordable relative to other sports. On the other hand, it means that it requires pioneers who will dare to express their brand strategy through sport. It requires brand builders who will get personally involved in creating the story-telling. For me, making Hannah Cockroft the hero of a TV campaign, shot in Prague, in period drama dress, in-between lockdowns is one of the bravest brand building I am proud to have dared - for its impact on the company, the consumers, the colleagues and the community.

Join me in the para-verse.

I am delighted to announce that Hannah Cockroft will be my guest at Mad//Fest on July 6th.

Michael Inpong Michael started his career at P&G and L’Oreal Most recently he was the CMO and strategy director for Müller where he led ground-breaking brand building partnerships in sport. Michael is now the Managing Director of Sport&Brands a brand strategy consultancy in sport, a company he cofounded. Michael is also a trustee of the Women’s Sport Trust and advisor to UK Coaching.

Michael will be writing a column for the MAD//Fest Newsletter regularly throughout the year. Find out more here