MINI-Owning Celebrities Speak Out for Super Bowl 50
MINI has been the target of labels throughout its 57-year history. “It’s too small. Too slow. Too niche. There’s no way a child seat will fit. There’s no way I will fit.” As a brand which has done just about everything to dispel our preconceived notions, it’s time we started listening. Our clients are our greatest allies, and there’s no better suite of testimonials than those which come from owners who have had to #DefyLabels themselves.
Randy Johnson, “The Big Unit,” was a Major League Baseball pitcher from 1988 through 2009. His career encapsulates 4,875 strikeouts – second only to Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan. In 2004, he became the oldest pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game. Storied as he may be, though, Johnson has struggled with an unrelenting and unjust bias, primarily due to his appearance. “Sure, I’ve been labeled before,” he said. “Intimidating, nasty, ornery…when you throw a 100-MPH fastball and you’re 6’10”, you can be perceived as intimidating.” Watch what Johnson, who drove (and fit in) a MINI Cooper while playing for the New York Yankees, had to say.
Serena Williams, reigning champion of the Australiam Open, French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic women’s singles and doubles, has enjoyed a tremendous career. At 34 years old, she has achieved an 85.76-percent win average and earnings approaching $75 million. Despite her success, Williams has been labeled as too strong, too sexy, too focused, and mean – among many others. Still, her focus on defying labels is strong. “Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, about what anyone else says, or how anyone else would want to label you,” she said. “No one can define you – only you can define you.” See why Williams, owner of a yellow MINI Cooper with a checkered top, chose the brand because it’s perfectly different – unlike anything else on the road.
Actor and Producer Harvey Keitel, at age 76, has enjoyed an incredibly storied and diverse career. An Oscar and Golden Globe nominee, Keitel starred in films such as Pulp Fiction, Thelma and Louise, Bugsy, and Taxi Driver. Working to not place labels upon anyone else, he says, has helped defy misnomers associated with not only himself, but actors in general. “Every actor is labeled,” he said. “You’re always struggling against someone saying, “Oh, you can’t do that.” from the moment you start acting.” Watch Keitel, who loves his MINI’s non-conformist design and rapid acceleration, describe what it means for an actor to #DefyLabels.
Former Pro-Skateboarder and Actor Tony Hawk has been the subject of labels his entire life, he says. Nicknamed “The Birdman,” Hawk is known for completing the first documented “900,” two consecutive revolutions within an aerial spin, at the 1999 X Games in San Francisco. As a child, Hawk was described as hyperactive and extraordinarily critical of himself, traits which he says channeled an unfair public bias. “Degenerate, outcast, nerd, circus skater…get a job…and that was in my 20s,” he said. “I didn’t want to be so conformist that it was sucking the fun and originality out of what I was doing.” Watch how Hawk, who says his MINI’s performance resembles his own traits of being nimble and adaptable, has worked to defy his own labels.
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Abby Wambach is a retired soccer player, coach, and FIFA Womens’ World Cup champion. With 184 goals scored, the 35-year-old is the stuff legends are made of, and has plenty of grit left for a long career. Primarily due to her appearance and success as a female, Wambach has been unfairly labeled as many things. “A tomboy…a butch, a bitch…lots of them, and I don’t care,” she said. “Those are things that, for me, never defined who I was, never defined how I played, never defined my individuality and my authentic self.” Of MINI, Wambach says the feeling of total involvement and control over the driving experience is what compelled her to become an owner.
Gimmick, talentless, auto-tuned…Faheem Rashad Najm, better known by his stage name “T-Pain,” has been called it all. Alongside artists Jamie Foxx and Kanye West, T-Pain has received two grammy awards for his work on “Blame It” and “Good Life,” but had a tough time shaking his labels. To move past his criticism, he said, he needed to learn to embrace it. “Those labels motivate me in a way that no one can describe,” he said. “Every time I get on stage, I have something to prove. I want to show those people who say that I’m talentless that…guess what? I’m me, and “me” works.” See how T-Pain has worked to prove his haters wrong and why he loves his Red MINI Countryman so much in his own words.