Brand ambassador Dirk Nowitzki “He’s the perfect fit for us”
They’ve come to understand each other very well: although Thomas Bauerfeind, a member of the Executive Board of Bauerfeind AG, and Dirk Nowitzki only met for the first time in fall 2015, they have seen each other regularly since the basketball superstar became Bauerfeind’s brand ambassador. In this interview, Thomas Bauerfeind tells life about the first time he met the likable elite athlete and what makes him an ideal brand ambassador.
What type of guy is Dirk Nowitzki?
Thomas Bauerfeind: He is completely normal. Really, just like he is on television, in the TV commercials. And he really is very tall. 2.13 meters. I have to look up every time I meet him. But there’s no shyness at all. We were very open with each other the first time we met and were on a first-name basis right away. That was his suggestion. He’s always very relaxed and easy to get along with.
We met for the first time in a restaurant in Dallas. The owner had reserved a “quiet table” for us. But every few minutes someone came over to say hello to Dirk Nowitzki and shake his hand, including lots of politicians and local celebrities. And when we came to pay, the restaurant owner even said we could have our meals on the house. That was pretty unusual.
How do Dirk Nowitzki and Bauerfeind fit together?
Thomas Bauerfeind: Very well. We share the same values: Despite his incredible sporting success, Dirk Nowitzki is a very down-to-earth person. Very genuine. He knows where he comes from and that success requires hard work. That is a perfect fit for us. We both strive to always give our best – whether that’s on the basketball court or in developing and producing supports, compression stockings, and foot orthoses.
Will Dirk Nowitzki be wearing Bauerfeind supports on the court from now on?
Thomas Bauerfeind: Dirk Nowitzki has already been using our products for many, many years. You can see photos of him wearing them. For example, when he was struggling with knee problems at the end of January of this year, he wore our GenuTrain during games. We don’t expect things to change. In other words, Dirk Nowitzki will continue to decide which of our supports he wants to wear and when. He definitely won’t be wearing them for no reason. That would also contradict our shared understanding of credibility and authenticity.
What do you hope to achieve with Dirk Nowitzki on board as brand ambassador?
Thomas Bauerfeind: Dirk Nowitzki is one of the greatest players in the history of basketball and he has been using our products for a long time. He provides an impressive demonstration of how our products can perform. When someone like Dirk Nowitzki says that our products are world-class, it undoubtedly sends out a strong message! We want to forge new paths with Dirk Nowitzki and showcase the benefits that our products can bring to anyone, whether they need them for sporting activities or just for everyday life.
And finally, I also hope our brand will gain a much higher profile outside of Germany. We can reach many more people with such a well-known figure, especially in America and Asia where basketball is very popular, and also grow the company in collaboration with our retail partners. From now on, you should be seeing Dirk Nowitzki wherever our products are available. We will supply our medical retailers with various marketing props for window and store displays and advertising material with images of Dirk Nowitzki.