The 2021 team includes run enthusiasts and passionate athletes from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and South Africa
Balega is so proud to announce our 2021 Impi Ambassador team! Our Impis help represent the Balega brand by spotlighting our core brand pillars – performance, excellence, harmony, creativity and community. The 2021 team includes more than 270 global Impi (which is the Zulu word for “warrior”) ambassadors who act as an army of Balega warriors or “Impis” representing the brand’s core values and sharing the brand’s South African heritage and “sole.”
Since 2015, Balega Impis have assisted with new product launches and spreading the Balega brand message within their local communities. In turn, the Impis receive socks throughout the year and benefit from the various other product categories out of the Implus stable of brands. The 2021 team will consist of athletes from the United States, South Africa, Canada, and the United Kingdom. By utilizing both their social media channels, as well as their presence at races and events around the world, these endurance enthusiasts will help to spread the Balega word, talk with their run communities about the products’ excellence, and position Balega as the leader in the run specialty market. In order to align with Balega’s give-back initiatives, ambassadors will also be asked to establish their own personal way of giving back to their local communities.
The year 2020 brought about challenges and changes to Balega’s Impi ambassador team. While product shipments and in-person gatherings were halted, the Impi ambassadors were quick to step up and come up with creative ways to maintain a sense of community. One way the 2020 team stepped up was by leading Fitness is Not Cancelled virtual workouts for the Balega Facebook community. Throughout the months of April and May, Impi ambassadors led all kinds of Facebook Live workouts including HIIT classes, yoga, pilates, meditation and kickboxing. The team also participated in a virtual run from Durham, North Carolina to Cape Town, South Africa, the two Balega headquarters, collectively running 7,901 miles and tagging their miles with #BalegaImpiTogetherApart. In addition to an amazing online Impi community that offered support for one another throughout the difficult year, we also had 45 ambassadors join a Balega Meaningful Miles Virtual Race Team to raise money and awareness for one of Balega’s long standing partner organizations, Back on my Feet.
“Last year we faced new and unprecedented challenges when it comes to our ambassador team, and we are so thankful for and proud of all of our Impi ambassadors who have remained resilient, positive and a shining light during a very difficult time,” said Tanya Pictor, Vice President of Balega Marketing. “Balega seeks to live through the true spirit of the Ubuntu or shared humanity, and we’re excited to be able to grow the team and impact of our Balega community to reach more people than ever before.”
To kick off 2021, Balega has provided each of our 2021 ambassadors with a Balega branded mask in addition to the regular assortment of products the ambassadors receive on a quarterly basis to show our appreciation for those Impis that returned after a challenging year, and to welcome all new ambassadors, while encouraging everyone to continue to mask up and stay safe.
“I’ve been a Balega Impi since its inception in 2016. I love the diverse backgrounds of the team members, being runners, walkers, cyclists, pickleball players - you name it - we are doing it,” said Kelli Boyer, 6-year Impi ambassador from Alexandria, VA. “What’s kept me returning to the team year after year is the fact that Balega not only makes great socks, but they are also great humanitarians. This is on full display through partnerships with various community organizations such as Back on My Feet and Veterans in Need, and sponsorships of The Lesedi Project and the Ethembeni School. As long as Balega will have me I will continue to be Impi Proud!”
“I started running for weight loss four years ago. Very quickly I learned the importance of real running socks. I took the chance with my first pair of Balega socks and couldn't believe the difference,” said Michael Singer, a first-year Impi ambassador from Fredreicksburg, VA. “Already this year I’ve organized an online giveaway to help fund research for ending childhood cancer and Balega was able to supply me with socks to provide to winners of the giveaway. Helping out the community is a big thing for me and I'm so proud to be part of a community like Balega that aligns with my goals.”