- Sweetgreen named Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker as its newest brand ambassador on Monday, according to a press release.
- Booker and the brand's first national ambassador, tennis star Naomi Osaka, will star in a "Create Your Own" campaign. The effort features a short video directed by TikTok creator @Owen.han along with social, YouTube, out-of-home, over-the-top video, mobile, audio, search and direct partner elements.
- Booker and Osaka's custom orders will be available in restaurant and via the brand's website and app through June 5. The effort comes as quick-service and fast-casual restaurants continue to offer celebrity-selected menu items as a way to boost digital orders.
Sweetgreen is returning to the wide world of sports by naming its latest brand ambassador, NBA star Devin Booker, as the chain focuses on celebrities who can speak to its brand mission and healthy fast food value proposition. The effort is well-timed, as Booker's Phoenix Suns have their first semifinal playoff game tonight.
“As an athlete, I’m always aware of what I’m putting into my body," Booker said in a statement. “I know what ingredients make me feel my best, so when I order my go-to bowl at Sweetgreen, I am confident that every ingredient is going to help fuel my day, on and off the court.”
The celebrity-backed push looks to boost Sweetgreen's digital orders, an imperative for brands in the competitive QSR and fast-casual restaurant space. The chain in March shared its first quarterly earnings report since going public in 2021, reporting same-store sales growth of 36% for the quarter, with 65% of its sales coming from digital orders. Industry leader McDonald's has driven app downloads and expanded membership with its popular Famous Orders platform, which has been emulated — and sometimes parodied — by chains including Burger King and Chipotle.
For the "Create Your Own" creative, Sweetgreen tapped TikTok creator @owen.han to direct a short video in the style of the platform, with a birds-eye perspective, quick cuts and dramatic sound showing the food being prepared. With TikTok the most popular website in 2021 — and ad revenue set to surpass the combined revenues of Twitter and Snapchat — mastering the look and feel of the platform will be key for marketers looking to reach younger consumers. Similarly, Taco Bell in 2020 used TikTok's vertical video format for a TV ad.
The "Create Your Own" campaign is informed by Sweetgreen data that over 65% of digital orders are customized with at least one modification, making millions of unique combinations possible through a digital experience designed with customization in mind, according to the brand.
Sweetgreen has utilized an in-house agency to drive its brand marketing. The company in May 2021 partnered with Osaka just weeks before she made headlines for stepping back from competition due to mental health concerns, and has since doubled-down on the tennis star with a campaign timed to last year's US Open.