In all the conversations we have had over the last six years of Common Ground and weMove, it has become increasingly clear to us that sports and movement brands (and brands in general) have a great responsibility they are completely unaware of.

They are not just about the chosen pursuit or about making cool products to get people moving. They are conduits to a deep sense of personal connection, a feeling of safety.

The exceptional brands understand the true meaning of this. The others barely scratch the surface and are left wondering why they are not creating a deeper connection. If you want to create a connection that is meaningful, deep, and long-lasting, then you need to go beyond the surface of what you think. To go beyond, people must feel safe, they must feel seen.

Safety determines our success in everything we do. Not playing it safe, but rather feeling safe. The two are very very different. One is to lead a limited life, never quite realising externally the innate potential within us all. The safety we mean is that innate feeling cultivated by a mindset and culture which sees you for exactly who you are, with no judgement and supports you to go beyond the cage of conformity. Let’s face it, all those icons we idolise have gone beyond what was thought possible, they felt safe to go for it. They had failings, were and are not perfect but they were seen for who they are.


That’s all people really want. To be seen, not feel invisible. Seeing people, that’s a skill in itself.

Brands are doing everything they can to be seen, but do they really see the people they are trying to reach. Getting attention is easy, fear does that quite well. But connection, that comes with feeling seen, feeling safe.

Now imagine the connection if an individual, or an entire community, felt truly seen by a brand. What could really be done in the world if people were supported to go beyond limitations not through fear and lack but curiosity and possibility. Loyalty would be a foundation, trust would be mutual and it would pay forward to future generations.

We all want to feel safe, every single one of us whether individually, or as a group. Go beyond the obvious, aim for personal connection and make people feel safe. Exceptional brands understand the true meaning of this. The rest barely scratch the surface. Be exceptional, make people feel safe.