Slam dunk: Basketball superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo joins Breitling as the brand’s newest squad member

By Tempus | 17 Mar 2022 | Sport, Leaders

The brand has welcomed its new MVP into a line-up that includes actors Brad Pitt and Charlize Theron, explorer David de Rothschild and surfer Kelly Slater

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The collaboration is an exciting new addition for the watch brand, which is famed for its dynamic star-power and purposefully casual approach to high elegance. Breitling is known to eschew the title of ‘ambassador’ in favour of ‘Squads’ of unique individuals, who share a mastery of their field – be that aviation, exploration, cinema or sport – and represent the watchmaker’s core values of action, purpose, and pioneering spirit.

In his nine years since joining the National Basketball Association (NBA), Antetokounmpo has hit nearly every career milestone achievable – including Most Improved Player, two-time Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP. Last year, he also led his team, the Milwaukee Bucks, to win its first NBA title in 50 years.

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The 6ft 11in player has had an unconventional journey to the NBA. He was born to Nigerian parents in Athens, Greece, and rose from humble beginnings to shoot through Greek basketball youth leagues before being drafted by the NBA as a teenager.

“Giannis’ willpower, dedication, unwavering vision, and desire to give back make him an inspiration,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “Plus, he’s just one of the coolest, most down-to-earth guys you’ll ever meet.”

One of five children, Antetokounmpo and his brother Thanasis (also a player for the Milwaukee Bucks) helped their parents by hawking goods in the streets of Athens when work was hard to come by. The brothers’ sporting prowess and hardworking mindset saw him overcome poverty – and finally gain his Greek citizenship in 2013.

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Not forgetting his roots, the star athlete works with two of his brothers to run a basketball academy in Athens that helps children from similarly underprivileged backgrounds get involved in the game and, through it, build confidence and life skills.

The AntetotounmBros Academy partners with Nike, the Onassis Foundation and the Eurohoops Organisation to provide children in underserved communities with “positive basketball experiences, mentoring and life skills, unlocking their potential to become better athletes, better teammates and better citizens”. It is inclusive to all nationalities, religions and genders, and actively promotes the empowerment of women and girls. The academy provides programmes for players and coaches.

The Academy says: “Giannis has already started trying to act as a role model for future generations and show that, if you fight hard for your dreams, nothing is impossible.”

“When we recruit a squad member, it’s not just because they’re the best at what they do,” adds Kern. “It’s because they bring character and integrity to everything they do.”

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