I Wanna Be BigJuly 25, 2013 | Anthony Oliva, WNBA.com
If it feels like Skylar Diggins is everywhere these days, it might be because, well, she is.
This past week, the WNBA released that not only does Diggins have the WNBA’s second most popular jersey -- behind only fellow “3 to See” member Brittney Griner and one spot ahead of Chicago’s Elena Delle Donne -- but that the Tulsa Shock occupy the top spot in total team merchandise for the first time ever, thanks in large part due to Diggins’ immense popularity.
Skylar says she has been humbled by the showing of support.
Additionally, Skylar says she’s been pleasantly surprised by the eclectic range of people that don her jersey.
“I’ve seen little boys with my jersey and people of all ages,” she said. “I’ve seen grown men and women in my jersey. I’ve seen older people in my jersey and sometimes they’re the ones cheering the loudest.”
And it’s not just in Tulsa.
“I see people wearing Tulsa when I’m in Indiana,” Diggins said. “I see Tulsa when I go to Seattle. And when I go to L.A., I see more Tulsa. So it’s like you have people cheering for you in every arena and I think that’s a pretty neat thing.”
With Diggins’ jerseys and Tulsa merchandise flying off the shelves, Diggins is completing a cycle that began when she was a young basketball fan.
“There were different players growing up that I wanted to get their merchandise.” said Diggins, specifically mentioning a signed Deanna Nolan Detroit Shock shirt that she has and still cherishes to this day. “Even if it’s not a jersey, I wanted something with their name on it, have them sign something for me. Those were such memorable times as a kid.”
Diggins’ merchandising endeavors extend far beyond the WNBA. Diggins, who along with Griner and Delle Donne signed with Nike in May, has been an active spokesperson for Nike, already attending events in New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago.
This week, Diggins was in Chicago for a photo shoot for Nike’s Air Force 1’s.
The photo can be seen here.
“I was just showing them and giving everyone my sense of style and how I rock my Air Force Ones,” Diggins said. “It was a real cool shoot. It was neat. I was like a shoe model.”
I’m barely scratching the surface right now. I think that when it’s all said and done, I want to be big. - Skylar DigginsIn the photo, Diggins is wearing “skinny jeans and a real comfortable Nike women’s top” that she says captures her style. While the picture does display her Twitter handle, it does not show her entire face -- something Nike has done with all the athletes -- as to keep the attention on the shoe. Diggins did point out that her lips “made the cut.”
As for this specific line of shoes, it was easy for Diggins to pitch because she’s been a fan of Air Force 1’s since the summer of 2002 when a rapper immortalized the popular brand.
“I don’t know if you remember that song Air Force Ones by Nelly? It started way back then,” Diggins recalled. “I used to buy the white on white low tops and rock them. When they got dirty, I’d buy more of the same size. I really, really liked the shoe growing up.”
Fortunately, pitching a product she already favors fits into Diggins’ overall marketing strategy.
“I’m just looking to do whatever I can do to build my brand, and whatever that is, do it the right way, stick to my values and things like that,” she said. “I’m barely scratching the surface right now. I think that when it’s all said and done, I want to be big. And not just known for basketball, but so many other things that I haven’t even began to brainstorm about.”
When asked about women athletes that have accomplished what she’s talking about, Diggins said that Serena Williams immediately came to mind.
Skylar might only be a rookie, but her relationships with corporations such as Nike and the fact she’s aligned with Jay Z’s Roc Nation give her the confidence that she can achieve her lofty goals.
“I’m so excited about the opportunities that I have,” Diggins said. “Not just in my short basketball career, compared to my whole life, but just the next 30 years down the line.
There’s just so many things that I want to do and I’m going to do it.”
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