Tennis star Naomi Osaka has launched her own toy line of Barbie dolls. Osaka, who had earlier been attention to issues of police violence and racial inequality has amazed her fans by diversifying in the toy line Barbie doll segment. Supposedly during the launch, the 23-year-old Tennis player minced motivational words for her fans and young girls.
“It’s such an honor to be a part of the Barbie Role Model series, and to remind young girls that they can make a difference in the world. I want young girls everywhere to feel empowered to dream big,” Naomi Osaka, who grew up idolizing 23-times Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, said in a statement
Mattel’s tie-up with Japan’s Naomi Osaka is the latest example of brands becoming more comfortable with taking a stand on social issues and banking on partnerships with female athletes to pull in new customers.
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In April, Gap Inc’s Athleta brand signed four-time Olympic gymnastics champion Simone Biles for a new apparel partnership, with a focus on diversity and inclusion.
Mattel also has Barbie dolls modeled on U.S. soccer player Alex Morgan and Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.
“Barbie is committed to celebrating real-life role models… remarkable women who are breaking boundaries and inspiring the next generation,” Mattel said in a statement, announcing the Naomi Osaka doll that is sporting a Nike tennis outfit and a racket.
Naomi Osaka, who did not compete in the Wimbledon championships for personal reasons, following her withdrawal from the French Open for a mental health break, will be competing in the Tokyo Olympics later this month.